Monday, August 23, 2010

Parikrama.

Made a pilgrim trip which now seems like an yearly affair . This time I went to Mathura Vrindavan - The birthplace of Lord Krishna , also known for a lot of other famous related tales.

We gave a 21 km Parikrama around the 'Govardhan Parvat' / hill - barefeet in 8 hrs. I don't know the significance of this Parikrama and nobody had the answer when I asked for it. The parvat or hill was lifted by Lord Krishna to protect  brijvasi ( people of Mathura ) from sloshing rains.


We saw people doing the Parikrama by completely bowing down on the road - one of them bowing down 108 times at one place!! So our barefeet parikrama didn't seem like much of a deal except when the last 5 kms got really painful with every muscle in the leg crying for rest. But we made it.Like a thousand others.

There were more than a hundred thousand or maybe 1 crore people [ don't remem the figure] who gave Parikrama in the last week. I always wonder about the religious beliefs. Nobody asks WHY ? Everyone just makes a move.And so did I.

Despite my unanswered questions - I gave the parikrama with full faith.
There wasn't anything electric or divine about this place unlike how usually pilgrim places make you feel.The roads were littered with garbage & cow dung. And yes , we walked through all of that. After our first one or two km of walk , we were immune to the cowdung and the dirty roads.

Its an annoying and disturbing fact that a pilgrim place like Mathura which is given so much importance and  has such a strong religious association - isn't taken care of the way it should be. Dunno why the UP Government is sleeping! With a swarm of devotees visiting Mathura Vrindavan every year , something should have been done ; atleast by now! 2010!!. The complete infrastructure is a mess. Its not about making an 'easy' parikrama route , its about keeping the sanctity of that place in its right form.

> We gave the Parikrama the second day. The first day we went to Vrindavan to visit temples. The ISKCON temple was absolutely beautiful and ELECTRIC - that spark of spirituality and closeness to divinity that I was longing for.Stunning.
Saw a couple of foreigners singing bhajans and dancing in their own world.


> The third day we visited Neemgav. Now this place definitely stirred me inside out.I always thought my roots are from Rajasthan.But we basically  hail from the 'Neembarak Sampradaya' or clan which is Five thousand years old. My forefathers had lived in Rajasthan.We have some people out there keeping a record of our family chain which is how we are aware of the names & place of birth of our last 9 or 10 forefathers!
So we still come from Rajasthan but we BELONG to Mathura - that's what I concluded.

 Lord 'Neembarak' is an avatar of Lord Vishnu after whom the place got its name - Neemgav.
 We also visited the spot where 'Lord Neembarak ' supposedly  meditated for years.

The Neem tree under which he meditated is said to be 5000 years old. I had a funny stupid yet sensible thought that maybe they should conduct carbon dating on the tree to truly know if the tree is 5000 yrs old :|


Evening was reserved for a trip to AGRA to visit the Taj mahal - a monument I have been dying to see.I'm NOT exaggerating. I badly wanted to see it. All my other cousins were quite indifferent to the idea of going Agra - one because it would have been a total of 5 hrs of car run ( and all of us were already quite tired ) & secondly because nobody was so particularly interested in seeing Taj Mahal - at least not as much as I was!
The other option they had was to visit more temples. It was but natural they chose Agra :P
BUT we got stuck in major traffic on half our way. It was 4.30 and we had 55 kms more to go. The driver suggested not to go any further as the gate closes down by 5.30. We still feel he made us a fool and that we could have made it to the Taj Mahal :((
---  And since I was the MOST excited one to see Taj ..my cousins constantly teased me as the plan went kaput!!  It was funny - the way they teased me.

I gave one short statement - that the world will conspire to make my wish come true :P lol Ok this one was a bit too much ..so I promised that I will specially visit Agra sometime to see the Taj :)) to which they gave invisible pats and inaudible applaud :D


Fooled that we were - we had to deviate our way to a nearby temple and this place called 'Akshay Patra' . Ok now this was one GOOD thing to see . Its a kind of a factory where about 40,000 chapatis are made in ONE hour by machines - right from the kneading of the flour. A complete meal is prepared  by the machines and this mid-day meal is served to school going kids.Its very well controlled and organized.Sophisticated.And obviously a non-profit initiative. Awesome , ain't it ??
The temple right next to this was that of ISKCON again. And the Darshan we had here were the MOST beautiful I've ever had in my life. It was DIVINE. The idol of Radha Krishna was decorated in a way as to make it look like they are dancing.


> The fourth & last day we flocked to the Ghaat of Yamuna river - the 'vishram sthal' [ = relaxtion place ] of Lord Krishna.We were at the ghaat in Mathura. Right across the river is Gokul - the place where Krishna was raised by Yashoda - and this path across the river was crossed by Krishna's father to save him from being killed by Kans.
[ I know I know I'm giving extra information but I feel its necessary to mention since I revised a lot of things  about the epic tale during this trip ]



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We boarded our train in the evening.
Coming to the more significant details - I had LOT of fun with my family & cousins! We were altogether a bunch of 26 people. I'm very happy to have made this trip. During our train journey to Mathura : 18 of us sang bhajans together for about an hour.( Thankfully nobody in the train complained!!)

I wish somebody takes the initiative to make Mathura a cleaner neater and beautiful place.
And I wish my wish to see Taj is fulfilled soon. Quite strangely I wasn't turned off that we couldn't make it to Agra. I have become indifferent to my unfulfilled exciting wishes :|


I loved spending time with my cousins. They were fantastically funny & fun as always :D
We played cards which  seems like an established compulsory  ritual at all our outings.
Mathura will remain one my most memorable journey.

2 comments:

  1. Wow! U visited a whole of places. And yes it feels sad when the Indian Govt does nothing to take of these places which are so important in mythological terms.

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  2. seems you enjoyed trip lot

    ReplyDelete

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