A Spiritual Journey: Exploring the Divine Essence of Vrindavan

Seven major Moksha pilgrimage sites are enumerated in Sanatan Dharma. Essentially, every Sanatani is encouraged to cultivate virtue by visiting all five pilgrimage sites:

These seven sacred destinations are as follows:

  • Ayodhya
  • Mathura
  • Maya (Mayapuri or Haridwar)
  • Kashi (Varanasi)
  • Kanchi (Kanchipuram)
  • Avantika (Ujjain)
  • Dwaravati (Dwarka)

We recently embarked on a journey to Vrindavan, a pilgrimage site intricately linked with Mathura. Allow me to share some of its notable features.

I embarked on a journey via local train from Delhi, which runs from Shakurbasti to Mathura. Departing from Shakurbasti at 6:20, it reaches Mathura around 10:10, passing through New Delhi, Nizamuddin, Faridabad, Palwal, Vrindavan, and Gopeshwar.

With 26 stops along the way, covering a distance of approximately 153 km between Shakur Basti and Mathura Junction, the train arrives at platform number 3 at Shakur Basti and platform number 4 at Mathura Junction.

Our journey commenced aboard this train to Shakurbasti, albeit with a slight delay. Our aim was to reach Gopeshwar Dham for Mahashivratri to seek darshan of Lord Bholenath. Upon consulting Google Maps, Gopeshwar appeared near Vrindaban. Therefore, we opted to alight at Vrindaban Road. However, the station appeared deserted at midnight. Upon inquiry, we learned that Gopeshwar Temple was at the next station.

Undeterred, we pressed on with the inspiration of Hari, accompanied by two fellow passengers. After a wait, we secured a shared auto and headed towards Vrindaban. Near Prem Mandir, the auto driver dropped us off, mentioning that Premanand Ji Maharaj departs from there.

Ecstatic with this revelation, we eagerly awaited darshan of Premanand Ji, amidst the vibrant decorations and floral arrangements. Maharaj Ji's arrival at approximately 3:30 pm filled us with bliss. Little did we anticipate such spontaneous blessings from Gurudev.

Following darshan, a discourse ensued from 4 pm to 6 pm, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Despite the cold weather from our journey from Delhi, we immersed ourselves in devotional hymns.

Due to the increasing crowd, devotees are required to obtain tokens a day in advance. Token holders are granted a seat in front of Maharaj Ji for discourse and interaction, while others may watch the live Katha Shravan Darshan via TV at Gautami Ashram.

After the discourse, we embarked on the Vrindavan parikrama path, eventually reaching Riteshwar Ji Maharaj's ashram. As morning approached, we sought a place to freshen up before continuing our journey.

Fortuitously, we found a charitable spot where we bathed and purified ourselves. Along the way, we encountered a temple of archaeological significance, known as the tallest temple in the vicinity, dedicated to Madan Mohan Ji.

However, caution is advised due to mischievous monkeys in the area. After visiting the temple, we proceeded to the ghat of Yamuna ji, offering our respects before enjoying a boat ride.

Continuing our journey, we reached the temple of Banke Bihari Ji, where we were blessed with darshan amidst a moderate crowd.

Subsequently, we proceeded to Nidhivan, where we immersed ourselves in the divine atmosphere of Lord Raas Leela Bhoomi and the temple of Radha Rani.

Our pilgrimage concluded with a visit to Gopeshwar Mahadev, followed by a glimpse of the beautiful Brahma Kund. Thus, having completed our journey, we returned home enriched by the divine experiences.

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