When you are into spirituality then there is nothing called as a ‘destination’. It is a complete journey in itself which has no start and end point. Yes, there’s no beginning or end to it. The more you grow in devotion and knowledge, the less it is. And there are times when being in knowledge doesn’t help. There is an innate desire in every human being to know and connect with the infinite. This desire need not be implanted in any human being. This is there.
I have been a witness to moments in life when nothing seems to work-when intellect, knowledge, astrological predictions, motivational lectures all seemed to be false. I always had this feeling that there is still something which is beyond it all.
Although my intellectual and logical mind never led me to believe this but still a lot of things in and around my life made me explore this truth. Somebody may have been able to predict a part or particular aspect of my life. But what about my birth, death, my existence? Nobody actually knows where we have come from, what’s the entire purpose, and what are we actually heading towards?
Anyhow, the question of birth and death may or may not be important to you. But I am sure leading a happy life is definitely significant to you. Since it is important to me and that’s why I started doing spiritual practices when I was 21. And not just this, I have been religiously following a lot of other things like fasting, going out for prayers etc before I entered spirituality.
Years of Spiritual Practice
In these years of meditation, I could experience a lot of things which are even beyond comprehension. Blank mind, thoughtlessness etc, I have experienced a complete state of bliss in these years of meditation. But there was something which was still missing.
I had all the good knowledge in my mind which could save me from almost any worldly blunder. I could easily help others in their problems by giving my expert advice. I had all the energy and enthusiasm in me to do everything I wanted to.
Meditation is a wonderful practice that has helped me keep stress and negativity at bay. But as I said, this path has no destination. Experiencing mindlessness is not the goal. There is something beyond all this.
At times, knowing everything including your future is not the only way to lead a happy life. Sometimes, having control over everything or having this feeling of control isn’t just the way to be. At times, losing control is a better way to live your life. Leading a happy life is about surrendering every moment to the Higher Self. This is what I learned during a weekend trip to Vrindavan.
Vrindavan is a holy town in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. In case you have no idea about it then let me just give you a brief about it-
It’s famous for its beautiful Krishna and Radha temples. Krishna is a much loved Hindu deity who has spent his childhood in Mathura and Vrindavan before He left for his kingdom in Dwarka, Gujarat.
This place is so mesmerizing that you are surely going to lose your heart there. It’s said that anyone who goes to Vrindavan has never been able to come back from there. This is true! It’s been around 12 days when I came back from Vrindavan but in reality, I am still there. My heart is still there in Vrindavan roaming the streets with Krishna.
Here’s my itinerary of my trip to Vrindavan which will help you get a deeper understanding of what I saw and experienced there:
Since I couldn’t afford a leave from office, so I had only Saturday and Sunday to travel and explore this mystical place. I have always wanted to be there but I guess it takes a bigger call to reach there.
I traveled on Friday night from Chandigarh to Delhi in Volvo, thanks to excellent services by Haryana Tourism. It was completely safe and happy ride. Next, I took a Shatabadi at 6 am from NDLS(New Delhi Railway Station) and reached Mathura Cantt. by 7.23 am. Yes, it was an amazing train journey with morning tea, biscuits and nimbu pani served on the train. Thanks to Indian Railways!
I was a bit tired and wanted a hotel to rest. But I already had an itinerary with me according to which I was supposed to travel and visit the places during mornings and evenings and rest during the day due to high temperature during the day. I went there in mid-September so the heat was just tolerable.
So, I took an auto from Mathura Railway Station and straight away went to Dwarkadheesh Temple in Mathura.
This is a huge temple located in the city of Mathura. Also, this one of the oldest temples of this place. The tiredness was all gone the moment I stepped inside this temple. It was amazing to find people singing bhajans of Krishna, some doing parikrama, and others waiting for His darshan. It was 8.05 am and the curtain for the darshan of Dwarkadheesh was supposed to be opened at 8.25 am. So, I did 4 rounds of Parikrama and then stood in the darshan line.
The ambiance inside the temple is completely beyond description. I had goosebumps all over my body when they announced the curtain was about to be removed. I have never experienced such longing for the divine. I still had no clue whether Krishna is God or not!! But all I could experience was this craziness to get just one look. It was a completely new form of devotion.
Well, what happened when the curtain opened is beyond words. You will have to experience this place before I could really explain my experience to you.
Krishna Janambhoomi was at second number in my schedule. There are around 7-8 temples inside this campus. The guide took me to all of them and explained the story and significance of all of them.
The place inside the Janmabhoomi which captivated my heart was the jail where Lord Krishna was born. It is a small area which would go completely dark without an artificial source of light. I cannot give you a solid proof to prove whether Krishna was born here or not.
But all I can tell you is about my experience there. I sat there for around 5-7 minutes with my eyes closed and all I could experience was nothingness. It was completely hollow and empty there. A dark and small room yet so peaceful. I was spellbound for next 15 minutes after coming out of that area.
After Janmabhoomi, I took an auto and went straight to Vrindavan. I could easily find a Dharamshala in purani kali deh( an area in Vrindavan near to the Parikrama marg). After an amazing experience at Mathura, I wanted to explore Vrindavan. So, I rested for around 4-5 hours at the Dharamshala and then set out for Banke Bihari Mandir in Vrindavan.
Banke Bihari Mandir
I am sure you must have heard about the Banke Bihari Mandir in Vrindavan. Here, Bihariji or Krishna Ji is shown with a curtain which closes and opens every few minutes. There are a number of stories associated with this temple which I shall discuss in my future posts.
There was a huge rush in this temple so much that you don’t need to make an effort to see Bihariji. All you need to do is to stand in a corner and the crowd will push you further. Despite so much of crowd, I didn’t find anyone shouting or fighting with each other. Everyone was so immersed in bhakti that all they said was ‘Radhey Radhey’ and just moved forward to get darshan of Bihariji.
Nidhivan is another incredible place in Vrindavan where Krishna comes to perform spiritual rituals with Gopis even today. This is the reason Nidhivan is closed after 5 pm in the evening for visitors and opens at 5.30 in morning for Mangla Aarti.
I was glad to find the structure of the trees which was altogether bent and collated with each other as if two friends are hugging with each other. I still remember getting goose-bumps when the guard was telling the stories of this place.
Again, the story may or may not be true! But the vibrations you experience at this place is inexplicable. You just feel like sitting there and immersing with nature there.
Other than this, Radha Damodar Mandir, Prem Mandir, Iskon Temple, Radha Vallabh Mandir, Radha Raman Mandir, and Seva Kunj were also a part of my journey there. Along with that, the overflowing and colorful markets of Vrindavan with Krishna bhakts here and there.
Two days weren’t enough to explore the beauty of this place. There are hundreds of temples and sacred spots in Vrindavan. The beauty, food(Kachori, lassi, and jalebi), shopping spots, Prashad, chants, stories, Krishna, Radha and what not-Vrindavan is God’s own residence.
What did I bring from Vrindavan?
The love, ecstasy, and the faith to surrender to the Higher Power. This is what I have brought back from Vrindavan.
There could be no better way to live your life than through faith and surrender! Having this faith that someone is there to take care of you every moment now and then is the biggest blessing. Having this faith that only the best will happen to you always is the way to lead a happy life.
And this is not just in words.
It is about living this every moment.
Wo hai, aur wo dekhlenge…
Wahi karenge jo acha hoga…
Aur jo sabse acha hoga wahi karenge…
Having this faith is really beautiful.
I always found it difficult to surrender it to God or the higher power.
I have always been crazy visiting astrologers to know my future.
But Vrindavan changed me inside out!
This visit has added colors to my spiritual practices.
Being able to taste devotion, and to be able to live with it…
I had world’s most beautiful and incredible knowledge.
But now I have even more beautiful thing-Devotion, faith, and surrender..!!
Living in surrender is the easiest and happiest way to live.
For this life is HIS, and shall dissolve in HIM..!!
There’s no end to this journey and even to my experience in Vrindavan.
Take a moment, just close your eyes, and just BE…
Copyright Srishti Moudgil
Image Credits: Google Images