Friday, 9 September 2016

Shri Rangnath Ji Mandir - Mathura Vrindavan


  It's the only temple in the Brij Area that is built Dravidian style architecture, also the daily prayers and seva are performed by Brahmans from South of India. It is one of the temple with most eye catching, detailed and classic architecture. This temple will offer you a unique blend of prayer services, divine experiences and a chance to offer a laughter prayer. yes that's right, in this temple people are found clapping and laughing out loud in the gallery of Lord, legend says that your wishes will come true, Nice and peaceful place with unique cultural experience.
It is a quite big temple and is inter connected to other interesting sites. On campus of temple there are, stone carved pillars, beautiful ground water storage (locally known as kund in the Braj area,) named Brahmha Kund, ancient Iron pillar, and a Gold pillar. 

शुक्लाम्बरधरं विष्णुं शशिवर्णं चतुर्भुजम् |
प्रसन्नवदनं ध्यायेत् सर्व विघ्नोपशान्तये ||

Main Entrance and its Beauty

Main Enterance
Main Entrance, Shri Rangnath Temple, Vrindavan

Main Enterance, Shri Rangnath Temple
Main Entrance, Shri Rangnath Temple, Vrindavan
Stone carving at Temple gates, Vrindavan Mathura
Gopuram of Shri Rangnath Temple, Mathura Vrindavan

Shree Tilak
Shree Tilak at Gopuram, Shri Rangnath Temple, Mathura Vrindavan

Shri Rangnath Temple, Mathura Vrindavan
Shri Rangnath Temple, Mathura Vrindavan
Shri Rangnath Temple, Mathura Vrindavan
Shri Rangnath Temple, Mathura Vrindavan

Bhrama Kund and Temple

Inside temple, there is a beautiful kund that is known as Bhrama Kund

Bhramha Kund, Shri Rangnath Temple, Mathura Vrindavan
Bhramha Kund, Shri Rangnath Temple, Mathura Vrindavan

Bhramha Kund, Shri Rangnath Temple, Mathura Vrindavan
Bhramha Kund, Shri Rangnath Temple, Mathura Vrindavan

Stone Carved Pillars

Shri Rangnath Temple, Mathura Vrindavan
Stone carved pillars, Shri Rangnath Temple, Mathura Vrindavan

Shri Rangnath Temple,
Stone carved pillars, Shri Rangnath Temple, Mathura Vrindavan

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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Shri Krishna Janamasthami in Mathura

How is Krishna's Birth celebrated in Mathura

Krishna's birth day is being celebrated today on 25th of August 2016. Preparation for the grand event takes place few week before. Hindu traditional festivals are based on lunar calendar, so the date of festivals do not repeat according to Gregorian calendar or International calendar in general.

Decorated Temple of Krishna, Mathura

Krishna was born eight day (known as Asthmi) of dark fortnight (known as Krishna paksha- where moon light decreases every day), in Hindu calendar month of Shravan (month of rain and fertility). Hence the event is known by name of Janamasthmi (Janam+Asthmi). Some astrologers tried to calculate the approximate time of Krishna that comes to be around 3200 B.C., based on astrological calculations. This tells that Krishna was born 5200 years ago (approximately).
Janam Shringar of Krishna, Mathura

The Legend of Birth

Krishna was born as eight son of Princess Devaki and her Husband Vasudev, of Yadava Royal family of Ancient India, in city of Mathura. Mathura was then capital of Yadavas. It is located at river side of Yamuna, making it suitable for agriculture and dairy product based industry as lot of fodder is easily available for the farmers with cattles .
At that time Mathura was ruled by King Kansa (who was also brother of Devaki). Kansa snatched power from his father King Ugrasen. Kansa like a responsible brother was happily organizing marriage of his sister and at the end of marriage event there was a prophecy from the sky that, 'Don't be happy by your sister's marriage, 8th son of your Sister will be the reason for your death.' Afraid by this, he wanted to kill newly wed couple. After the suggestion from wise men of the court, he let them live, locked in prison cell but decided to kill every new born from them. After killing six children, seventh one was reported as miscarriage (but it was Balram, who was secretly transferred out of Prison).  Before the birth of Krishna, father Vasudev received instructions from God about how should he transfer, new born to cross river to reach Gokul, where Chief of cowherd tribe (known as Gwala), Nanda lived. At the same moment of Birth of Krishna there was a girl child born to Nanda and Yashoda (who became the foster parents of Krishna). On a stormy night when Krishna was born, all the chains and prison lock unlocked, all guard went into deep sleep. Vasudeva took newly born Krishna in a basket and left him in safe custody of Nanda, bringing back the female child. In the morning when Kansa came to kill the girl child, believing that it is the eight child, she slipped from his hands, transformed into YogMaya, who is supposed to be helper of Vishnu and creator of Maya(false illusions) and reached sky, reminding Kansa about his wrong doing and repeated the prophecy. 
Meanwhile Krishna went on to grow with his elder brother Balaram, in Gokul, destroying various demons sent by Kansa to kill him. After some time, Krishna killed Kansa in Mathura but didn't became King himself as there was another prophecy that the Kingdom which Krishna will rule; will be doomed to be destroyed, by anger of some sage. (Detailed story will be shared in another blog.) This prophecy became true for Dwarka.

There are many events in life of Krishna that have interesting link with number 8, like born as 8th son, on 8th day as 8th incarnation of Vishnu. This will be part of discussion some other time.
In Hindu culture this is main festival for Vaishnava. Celebration style may vary according to the region; for example Dahi-Handi is common event in South of India but in Mathura (or in North India) it is not so popular, same goes for Kite Flying on this day in West and North of India. Overall spirit of this festival is to welcome Krishna, and re create the life events of his time. Dahi Handi portrays the mischievous part of young Krishna's life, Nandotsav recreates the event of celebration of birth.

Krishna Janam Bhumi on Janamasthmi, Main Temple, Mathura

Krishna Janam Bhumi on Janamasthmi, Main Temple, Mathura

Celebrations in Mathura

Associated as birthplace and place of Krishna's birth celebration in Mathura is full of energy and a joyful atmosphere. Lots of people all around world come to witness the event at Krishna Janam Bhumi (Main Temple at place of birth). Temples are all prepared for gathering of huge crowd of devotees, food and water is usually provided either free or at nominal rates all around the regions. Even local people prepare the free food service and volunteer for self less management of festive event.  
Actual Celebration starts from midnight of Krishna's birth, where priests in temple prepare for traditional prayers and holy bath of Lord inside temple, at the same time devotees outside sing the traditional folk songs to sing the welcome of Krishna. They sing the blessings for Krishna, sing congratulating Mother and Father, and sing birth story of Krishna. Some of these were composed by prominent poets of ancient times which took shape of folklore with local musical touch. Dance, music, Puja, Aarti and rocking cradle of Krishna is performed for celebrating the event. Sharp at mid night blowing of bells and conch shell can be heard all around to mark birth of Krishna. Locals celebrate the event at home by fasting on the day, preparing sweet dishes, decorating temples and houses and singing prayers and songs.

Main enterence of temple Janam Bhumi, on Janamasthmi, Mathura

Some traditional songs for the event.

Gokul Badhai Geet

Haati Ghoda Palki 

Janam Badhai in Haveli Sangeet - Pushti Marg 

Vasudeva sutam devam, kansa chanura mardanam |
devaki paramanandam Krishnam vande jagad gurum ||

I bow to son-of-vasudeva, who is destroyer of Kansa | who is eternal bliss of Devaki, who is Krishna,who is the universal-guru ||


Jai Shri Krishna

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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Deep Daan- Why do We Offer Lamp to Almighty

Deep Daan - Offering of Lamp to Almighty

|| दीप दान महोत्सव, २०१५, ठाकुर केशव देव जी, मथुरा ||
|| Deep Daan Mahotsav, 2015, Thakur Keshav Dev Ji, Mathura ||

India observes and celebrates five day 'Festival of Light'-Deepavali/Diwali on Amavasya(darkest night) in month of Kartik(October/November based on Hindu Lunar Calender). Reasons, Observations and Stories of Diwali are many and will be shared in future post.
Deep Daan (Offering of Lamp to Almighty) is center of this post.
Deep Daan Mahotsav at Keshav Dev Temple Mathura
Second day of this festival is celebrated as Roop Chaudas/Narak Chaturdasi. This day is also referred as Choti Diwali. On this occasion people offer lamps,often in decorative formation in Temple. After offering earthen lamps to God, people decorate and light lamps at home.

Lamp or Diya is the symbol of Divine Energy that is comes out in form of Light and Warmth. This light casts away, darkness and ignorance, replacing it with brightness and knowledge. 
Offering Lamp at Temple
Deep Daan at Temple
Worshiping Lord with a well lit earthen lamp(diya/diva), and offering it in a temple or a water body(usually a flowing river or a pond in some places); with a thought of offering it to God is called Deep Daan.
If a person do this on this particular day, it is said to destroy his sins of past 1000 year.

Small Vedic Prayer for offering lamp (can be recited during meditation by imagining, lightning a lamp)

Asato ma sat gamaya
 Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya |
Mṛtyor ma amṛtam gamaya
Om shanti shanti shantihi ||
असतो मा सद्गमय
  तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।
 मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Meaning- Guide me from darkness, towards light. Guide me from untruth towards truthfulness. Guide me from death and sufferings towards life. Let there be Peace all around us.
Lord Krishna surrounded by Lamps.

Another small prayer is
Subham Karoti Kalyanam; Arogyam Dhana Sampadah|
 Shatru Buddhi Vinashaya ; Dipo Jyoti Namostute ||

Meaning:  I stand before the almighty lord of light which is spread around us in form of God's blessing, praying to thee that this lamp brings positivity, good health, wealth and destroys the intellect of our enemies (this also signifies the bad thoughts that may not necessarily comes form mind of others but due to ignorance these can be generated in our mind as well, so may Lord save us from these), and save us from the evil. may there be prosperity everywhere. 

Deepjyothi Parabrahma; Deepjyothi Janardhana 
Deepo Haratu Me Paapam; Deepo Jyothi Namostute"
Meaning: I stand before the almighty lord of light which is spread around us in various forms; you are the part that is also a contribute to creation of this world, you are also responsible for flourishing this world with prosperity; I pray to thee to take away all my sins; I pray to you.
This day is acknowledged as the day when Lord Krishna killed demon king Narakasur and saved sixteen thousand females(gopis) from prison. Some says that Narakasur could only be killed by female, so Krishna took help of his highly skilled warrior wive Satyabhama and she killed the demon. As they returned after victorious battle the kingdom in their welcome decorated their homes in colorful artistic form with powdered colors/sand and light the row of lamps. This marks the start of tradition to decorate 'Rangoli' and light the lamps in order to welcome Lord Krishna.
Lord Krishna Keshav Dev Ji
Also on this day people pray to Lord Yamaraj (God Of Death) to save them and near ones from untimely death.
Lord Krishna
Why this day got its name as Roop Chaudas? A story goes like this. A young yogi/saint was meditating/doing tapasya and lost his youthfulness and beauty as he was in deep meditation for a long time. Lord Krishna along with other vardaan(blessings); blessed the saint with part of his own beauty on this day. So it is said that a person after praying to Lord Krishna, if bath in scented oil water; he will get healthy and personable body.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Temples of Mathura Vrindavan

The Eternal Love of Krishna. Temples of Mathura Vrindavan 
Rang ji ka mandir
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