Kumbh Mela Vrindavan 2021
Because of the devotion and continuous worship of the residents of Vraj, it is said that every home in Vraj is a temple. On our temple tour, we visited some temples with the most famous leelas and histories. In between darshans of deities, such as Banke Bihari, Radha Vallabha, Radha Shyamasundar and Radha Raman, we listened to stories of Their origins and miracles They performed from our guides, as well as from pandits of the temples themselves.
In the afternoon, we traveled to a devotees’ home in Govardhan, which is an actually established temple called Puchri Ka Lota. Puja was performed on Giriraj by Swami Vishwaranga Ramanuja at a place known as the “tail of Govardhan.” The environment was quiet and peaceful, a stark contrast from the busy streets and temples of Vrindavan.
The Leela of Puchri Ka Lota Temple:
Krishna had a friend named Madhumangal (Srilothji) who was very fat and wanted to eat all the time. Shri Krishna requested him walk with Him on His way to Dwaraka, but after some time he said to Krishna, “please I need to rest, I can’t walk anymore, and also I need to eat. Krishna gladly fed him makhan and told him to rest. After some time, Krishna told His friend, “I need to go, but please stay here and wait for me to come. I bless you that you won’t be thirsty or hungry. But there is a special seva I’d like you to do.” Madhumangal was eager and of course said yes. Krishna then instructed him to mark down every person that passes him on Parikrama Marg. Since then, this place has become the checkpoint for Parikrama where each devotee who passes is marked on a list to be given to Krishna. Madhumangal’s murti sits in this exact place, watching all and making his list.
Later, we experienced another divine miracle in the form of a Narasimha Saligram. Just like Banke Bihari, this Narasimha Saligram was self-manifested and found in the ground. The temple where He stays is built on a fort and is over 800 years old.
Understanding the history and leelas of temples and deities makes one feel much closer to the deity. Stories of how the deities interact with Their devotees show us how much They are listening to our prayers and want to help us. Forming a connection with a deity and temple is very beautiful because the love grows over each darshan. Everyone felt so fortunate to be able to visit these local and sacred temples.