Braj Chaurasi Kos Yatra

Gokul Chandrama Temple, Kamyavan

Braj Chaurasi Kos Yatra (i.e. 84 Kos. = 252 km) pilgrimage comprises Vrindavan, with its 12 vanas (forests), 24 upvanas (groves), the sacred hill Govardhan, the divine River Yamuna and numerous holy places along its banks, is undertaken annually by lakhs of devotees from faraway places. The 84 Kos Yatra is also known as the Braj Bhoomi Yatra as it covers the places and sites connected with the life and events of Krishna. Tourists who visit Agra and Mathura sometimes complete the Braj Bhoomi Yatra on the same trip as a dedication to Lord Krishna. Many others come specifically to do the Braj Bhoomi Yatra as a 4 to 7-day planned itinerary trip. Traditionally, the yatra is undertaken during the monsoon or the month of bhadon; the significance of the rains cannot be overlooked here as Krishna was born on a night of torrential rains when the Yamuna was flooding. So, the most devout undertake this pilgrimage, many of them on foot, during the rainy season. To most people, it is in culmination of a wish fulfilled and offer of thanksgiving; to others it is a kind of penance undertaken for grant of a wish or prayer.

Significance

Once Yashoda Mata and Nandbaba expressed their desire to go on pilgrimage before their son Shri Krishna. To fulfill their beautiful desire Shri Krishna recalled all the sacred places to Vrindavan. Since then circumbulating these shrines is known as 'Braj Chaurasi Kos Yatra' which releases us of all our sins, which ultimately helps to stop the cycle of birth and death(chaurasilakh yoni's) and in result help's one to attain salvation. An important incident in Shrimad Bhagawat, during the Krishnaleela cantos of Lord Krishna leads to the origin of Braj Yatra. The countless pranks the Lord Krishna performed during his childhood, often used to confuse Lord Brahma. Lord Krishna often used to eat foods already half eaten by his sakhas (fellow cowherd boys). In order to test the fact that Lord Krishna was actually the incarnation of God, Brahmaji cast a spell which made the cows and cowherd friends of Krishna disappear and took them to BrahmaLoka. Lord Krishna the lord of trinities, understood the doing of Lord Brahama and to teach him a lesson Shri Krishna himself took the forms of His Sakha's and cows. Krishna continued to be in such forms for a year. Brahmaji realized his mistake and asked for forgiveness thus Lord Krishna advised him that only to get rid of his sins was by performing Braj Chaurasi Kos Yatra. Brahmaji became the first to perform Braj Yatra and as a result he got released of his sins. This holy leela explains the importance and inspires devotees to perform Braj Chaurasi Kos Yatra.


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