Land of Enchanting Beauty And Sweetness
Brahma Sanhita (5.56) describes Vrindavan Dham, or Goloka, in this way:
"I worship that supreme abode of Svetadvipa, where the Supreme Personality Brajendra-nandan Shri Krishna is the only lover; where His svarupabhuta Braj Gopis, the embodiment of all Lakshmis, are the beloveds; where every tree and creeper is a transcendental desire-tree; where the earth is made of spiritual touchstone and the water is nectar; where speech is like melodious song and movements are like dance; where the flute is the dear female companion; where light is full of knowledge and bliss; where each and every supreme, transcendental object is all tasty and delectable; where great divine oceans of milk continually flow from the udders of uncountable surbhi cows; and where transcendental time is eternal, and without past and future, so that even half a moment never slips away. In this material world, only rare, saintly personalities behold this abode as Goloka, and only those who are the objects of Gokulapati Shri Krishna's mercy can understand the nature of this abode."
The Rigveda (1st mandal, sukta 154) also describes Braj Dham:
"Braj-Vrindavan is the Lord's topmost dhama, or sacred abode. There, the Supreme Personality Shri Krishna, the object of the Vedas, sweetly plays His flute and protects the roaming cows, who have many good qualities and beautiful horns."
In Shrimad-Bhagavata (10.21.10), the gopis themselves sing the glories of Vrindavan: "O sakhi, the fame of the Earth is enhanced, having been splendidly decorated with the marks of Shri Krishna's lotus feet. Upon hearing Krishna's flute song, the peacocks take it to be the thunder of the clouds and, becoming intoxicated, begin to dance. When the other animals in the meadows of Govardhan see this, they also feel pleasure and become stunned. Thus, the presence of Shri Vrindavan on the Earth makes this planet even more glorious than Vaikuntha."
The gopis also say, O sakhi, all of the six seasons' many flowers, such as beli, juhi, chameli, champaka and kadamba, bloom all over Vrindavan. Their fragrance reaches far and wide, inviting bees to partake of their honey. They come in swarms to drink this honey and, becoming intoxicated, start humming. This sound seems to come from Vana-devi, the goddess of the forest, who, having anticipated the arrival of Madhupati Krishna, now welcomes Him. When birds with sweet and melodious voices like the shuka, pika and papiha, hear the humming of the bees, how can they remain silent? They are also immersed in bliss, and fly from one tree to another and from one branch to the next. Vrindavan resonates with their harmonious singing, that echoes all over the hills and across rivers and ponds.
"Aha, Vrindavan is such an extraordinary and astonishing sacred abode. In this Vrindavan, the sweet splendour of spring, the king of all seasons, is ever present, and a green velvety carpet covers the surface of the earth. Lotuses of many colours bloom in the ponds and rivers, and the branches of the trees are well adorned with fully-bloomed champa, chameli, beli, juhi and other delightfully fragrant flowers, whose nectar is relished by intoxicated bees. The entire atmosphere is pervaded with both transcendental bliss and the intoxication of youth. These combine to create a kingdom of ever-increasing joy that captivates the body and mind."
Playing sweetly on His flute, Brajendra nandan Shri Krishna roams throughout this land of Braj along with His elder brother, Balram, and Their innumerable cowherd boy friends and cows. This land of Braj is blessed; where the creator of the universe, Lord Brahma, dwells in the form of a mountain range in Barsana, to have the dust of the Divine Couple Shri Radha-Krishna's lotus feet on his head; where the maintainer, Lord Vishnu, has assumed the forms of Govardhan and Vishnu-parvat; where the moon-crested Mahadev (Lord Shiva) has taken up residence as Nandishwar Hill in Nandagram; and where Uddhav, the best of Shri Hari's servants, lives as a blade of grass, a small shrub and a creeper on the bank of Kusum-sarovar.
Here in Braj, the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna becomes the calves and relishes the tender and delicious grass. Here the young girls of Braj go daily to wells and other sources of water on the pretext of filling their water-pots, but in fact they go only to fill the pots of their hearts with the rasa of Krishna-prem. "Panaghat Jana dai ri, panaghata jata hai – My friend, please let me go to the pana-ghata, otherwise the resolve (pana) to meet my beloved will diminish (ghata jaega)." To protect this resolve, the young girls of Braj would crowd the pana-ghata, carrying their clay pots.
At this place, which is filled with rasa, the Braj girls begin to dip their pots in the water on the pretext of filling them. Then, the rasila flute of the crown jewel of all rasikas fills the air with rasa. Who even notices whether these girls of Braj fill their pots or bring them back empty? 0 my friend, this is all the wonder of that pana-ghata.
The topmost relisher of transcendental mellows, Brajendra nandan, repeatedly drowns in rasa – in the sweet groves that echo with the rippling sounds of the Kalindi River, and in the twisted and narrow rasila lanes. He drowns in the rasila teasing of the rasili girls of Braj – in the heated disputes He has with them; in their crooked, sweet glances; in the sweet conversations and water-sports He enjoys with them. Who can describe the glories of such a place as Braj?
Shri Sanatan Goswami has explained the meaning of Vrindavan in the following way, "vrindasya samuhasya, avanam raksanam palanam yasmat tat vrindavanam – that place which maintains, nourishes and protects everyone is called Vrindavan." This land of Vrindavan conceals its godly nature and lovingly maintains the herds of cows and calves, and the society of gopas and gopis. The Supreme Lord Shri Krishna, being controlled by their love, does not leave Vrindavan even for a moment: vrindavanam parityajya sa kvachin naiva gachchhati (Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Antya-lila 1.67; quoted in Laghu-bhagavatamrita 1.5.461).
Shri Narayan Bhatt describes the land of Braj as enchanting, and expresses this with exquisite feelings:
"Braj Bhumi is enchanting — the groves are enchanting, Vrindavan is enchanting and the waters of the Yamuna are enchanting. All the women in every part of Gokul are enchantresses who speak in an enchanting way. Shri Bhatta's master and mistress are Mohan Nagar and Mohini Radharani."
Govind Deo Temple, Vrindavan, Mathura
Rang Nath Temple, Vrindavan, Mathura
Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan, Mathura
Kusum Sarovar, Govardhan, Mathura
Haridev Temple, Govardhan, Mathura
Radha Rani Temple, Barsana, Mathura
Baldev Temple, Baldev, Mathura