Sri Radha Rani Braj Yatra / Barsana Dham / SriSri Radha Maanbihari Lal / Holi in Barsana

Shri Radha Rani Braj Yatra

Shri Radha Rani Braj Yatra was started from Maan Mandir, Gahvarvan, Barsana to propagate and spread the LORD’S name, to preserve the Leela Sthalis (place of celestial past times of Radha Madhav), Van (Forests), Upvan(gardens), Kund (ponds) and the Parvat (holy hills) of BRAJ and to create an awareness amongst the people about the glory and magnificence of these sacred and holy place.

Shri Radha Rani Braj Yatra starts from Maan Mandir, Gahvarvan, Barsana and traverses around Braj (Braj Parikrama) covering 84 kos of Braj in 40 days. In yatra the devotees experience godly pleasure and divine bliss by listening to round the clock sankeertan of Bhagwan-naam. During this period of 40 days the Yatris ecstatically get drowned in the overriding passionate emotion of spirituality and they joyfully sing & dance and do Bhagwan-naam kirtan under the auspicious guidance of Shri Ramesh Baba Jee Maharaaj.

Braj Dham

Braj Dham is divine. It stands unparalleled. Vaikuntha, where the Supreme Lord permanently resides, cannot be compared to even the DUST of Braj because every nook and corner of Braj has been blessed by Radha Krishna’s pious pastimes and wonderful performances (leela) which symbolizes Divine Love (Divya Prem).

[Gunateetam Param Brahm Vyaapakam Braj Ucchyate
Sadanandam Param Jyoti Muktanaam Padvyayam]

All pervasive and omnipresent Supreme Lord (Vyapak Parabrahm), who is beyond the quality of goodness (Satva Gun), the quality of living beings which is the cause of vice (Raj) and the quality of evil (Tamo Gun), has himself incarnated as Braj. Braj is an epithet of the Supreme Lord (Sachchidanand) who is matchlessly and superlatively lustrous (param jyotirmaya) and immortal (aavinashi).

Enlightened people (Jeevanmukt purush) always stay sentimentally and spiritually attached to this omnipresent Supreme Lord (Parabrahm) the BRAJ DHAM and Shri Krishna constantly lives in this Braj Dham. So pious and sacred is Braj Dham that Lord Krishna who is the soul of souls permanently resides here and he is effortlessly accessible to devotees in Braj.

Shri Radha is the joyous authority (Aahladini Shakti) of Shri Krishna. Shri Krishna is known as the God of souls (Aatmaram) because he executes affectionate performance of joyful merriment with Shri Radha, who is the effigy of graceful and elegant sweetness of divine love (divya prem). Every particle of Braj-dust is imprinted with pious feet of Radha Madhav (Yugal Charan) and is watered by the nectar of their love. Every speck of this place is capable of giving freedom from salvation.

[Mukti Kahaye Gopal Son, Meri Mukti Bataay
Braj Raj Udi Mastak Lagay, Mukti Mukt Hvyay Jaye]

Every particle of Braj has the power to grant salvation to salvation (mukti) itself. Brahma ji who was overpowered by material (maya) got overwhelmed by seeing and feeling the presence of Lord Krishna in each and every particle of Braj. He got so thrilled and sentimental by the divine sight (darshan) of the Lord that tear rolled down his eyes effortlessly which led to the holy bathe (abhishek) of Braj Land.

The highly intellectual and Knowledgeable Udhav ji considered himself extremely lucky and fortunate to become a mere plant (lata) in the soil of Braj. Sages like Vishwamitra, Narad, Sukdev, Gautam, Parshuram, etc. had chosen Braj as a place for their penance and worship.

Today also thousands of devotees come in Braj to worship this auspicious land of Lord and consider them to be fortunate to experience the devoutness of reverence (Bhakti Ras).

It is not easy to portray the greatness and grandeur of the Dham as even Brahma ji and other Gods are unable to comprehend it. But still a few words, out of civility, have been depicted to appraise you about its divine importance in the incident narrated below.

When I was new in Braj, I was totally ignorant and didn’t have much knowledge about the importance of dham and the various divine performances (leelas) of Radha Madhav. But I still used to give lectures and discourses (pravachans) and used to visit many places for this. Once I had gone to Jaipur and Alwar and I remember delivering discourses in 32 places in one single day till 2 AM roaming around in a car. I don’t remember much, but when I was delivering discourses in the last house I was asked 13 questions.

The 13th question was “How to attain God?”. I would not say that it was a spiritual awakening or enlightenment but when I was about to answer it I don’t know why I got speechless and couldn’t speak out. It was not that I was ill and couldn’t speak out. The question started recurring in my mind as to whether have I attained Shri ji that I am answering it? It was a very strange experience which left me perturbed and restless. I left the place and went to my room.

I asked Mathurjee, in whose house I was staying, as to where his car was? He replied that it was ready and was at my service. I asked him whether he can take me to braj and leave me there. He asked as to what would happen to programs scheduled for next day. I said that I have to go as I am restless and my heart is palpitating in perturbation. If you are not leaving me then I would prefer to go walking. I was adamant to go back to braj as I was not feeling comfortable. A saint who used to stay with me had also accompanied me in this trip. On hearing this he got annoyed. He said, “Have you gone mad?” I said, “Yes! I have gone mad and I have to return.”

We left for braj immediately thereafter. When we reached Deeg (a village in braj) I told Mathurjee that as we have entered braj, he can drop me there itself and go back. But he drove down to Gahvar and dropped me at Maan Mandir.

After my return, I was sitting with my fellow saint one day on the terrace of Maan Mandir and was showing him the list of my programmes. As I was discussing about my programmes Baba (Shri Ramesh Baba’s guru jee) came and asked, “What’s going on?” I was newly acquainted to Baba then and I told him that I have just returned from my programmes at Jaipur and Alwar.

He looked at me and said, “Have you come here to do penance or get engaged in such unnecessary and useless activities”. These were his exact words. His words made such an immense impact on me that I started going to attend his discourses (satsang). He said to me, “When you have left your home and have come here to do penance then take shelter of Dham.” This incident changed my life. These words of my Baba totally changed the aim my life. I then started reading many literatures on Dham and I took a firm decision that I would never ever go anywhere from here. This visit was my last tour.

This was the first lesson I had learnt after I came to braj. Lord’s name, his form, his attributes, his divine performances during incarnation (leela) and the place where he incarnates (dham) are all same. But the admirers (rasiks) have said that the worship of Dham is the most easy and simple of all. “Chanting of Lord’s Name” (Naam Japa) is easy but while sleeping it is not possible chant. The same way meditation is also not possible while a person sleeps. Similarly singing glories of God cannot be perpetual and neither can be the service to God.

So the great saints have said to go and stay and take shelter of Dham. Make Dham your permanent abode. Staying in dham is itself a great worship. Irrespective of your status, whether you are awake or sleeping, you will eternally and perpetually be staying in Dham.

In one of the religious book (shtak) it has been written,

[Dure Chaitanya .. .. .. ..]

Great religious preceptors like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ji, Harivanshji Maharaaj and Mahaprabhu Hari Das ji were very devout and staunch devotees of Radha Krishna. Such was the effect of their eternal worship to God that just by coming into their acquaintance and association people used to immediately develop a feel of great passion and affection for the Lord. These great saints had long back taken their way to heavenly abode and due to present scarcity of such saints on earth how will people attain similar affection and love for God.

The writers of religious hymns (shtakakaar) have advised devotees to take the shelter of pious soil (raj) of Vrindavan. They say that, “Take the shelter of dham and you will automatically attain all spiritual objectives”.

It is mentioned in Shiv Puran that if you know nothing about the customs and means of doing Bhakti and if you are completely ignorant of spirituality then simply take unending shelter of Dham and die in Dham. You will attain everything. You will amalgamate with the Supreme, Lord Krishna!

“रंगीली गली”
श्री राधा कृष्ण विवाह लीला कई स्थानों पर गाई गयी है | (पदमपुराण उतरखण्ड में) दन्त्रवक्त्र का वध करके श्री कृष्ण ब्रज में आते हैं | और सभी ब्रजवासियों से मिलते हैं | श्री मदभागवत में भी द्वारिका से ब्रज में आने का उल्लेख मिलता है
यथा – भा. १/११/९
यहर्यम्बुजाक्षाय ससार भो भवान् कुरून् मधूनवाय सुहृद्दिक्षया |
इसी आधार पर श्री जीवगोस्वामी जी ने गोपाल चम्पू (उत्तरे) में राधाकृष्ण विवाह गया है हरि विलास लीला तन्त्र आदि पुराण और ब्रह्मवैवर्त पुराण में भी विवाह लीला का गान है | विवाह के बाद होली खेलने श्री कृष्ण बरसाने आते हैं उसके बाद नन्दलाल का स्वांग दल बरसाने आता है जिस स्वांग में ब्रह्मा, रूद्र, सनकादि, शुकदेव जी, महादेव (शंकर) नारद प्रभृति भाग लेते हैं | जिनमे कामदेव कामिनी बनता है और ललिता जी वृषभानु जी से उसका व्याह रचाती हैं | रानी कीरती को भी नेग न्योछावर की प्राप्ति होती है | इस स्वांग की बारात का थोड़ा सा वर्णन देखिये –

साँचे स्वांगनि साजी सबै समूह सुहायौ |
चारि बदन कौ स्वांग चतुर चतुरानन ल्यायौ |
घुमत आयौ इन्द्र स्वाँग उन्मत जनायौ ||
देखि नंद के लाल गाल धरि जंत्र बजायौ |
सनकादिक चारयौनि सज्यौ सन्यास सुहायौ ||
तथा व्यास कौ पूत धूत शुकदेव बनायौ |
महादेव पटतार देत यह पट जु मचायौ ||
हरी कौ व्है बावरौ सु नारद नाचत आयौ ||
ब्रज बीथिनु के बीचि कीच में लोट लुटायौ |
माया ने पूतना व्है लै नारद दुलरायौ |
काम कामिनी बन्यौ सबनि कौ चित चुरायौ ||
गठिजोरा वृषभानु जान सों जाइ करायौ |
ललिता जोरी गांठि भान कें व्याह रचायौ ||
पीत पिछोरी तांनि रंगीलौ मंडप छायौ |
नवल आँम के मौर कौ मौरी मौर बनायो ||
नग न्यौछावर कीनें कीरती कलश धरायौ |
मन की भाँवरी दीनी चित कौ चौक पुरायौ ||
होरी की अठवारी करि दूलह दुलरायौ |
नीकी बनी बरात वरातिनि रंग बदायौ ||
होरी की गारिन कौ शाषा चारि पढ़ायौ | —-|| ११७ श्रं.र.सा ||

यह रसिक नरहरिया जी का पद प्रति वर्ष श्री जी के मंदिर में पांडे लीला के दिन गाया जाता है | ब्रह्मा-शिवादि की भी लीला में सह भागिता सर्वत्र भगवद् इच्छा से होती है | यह कोई आश्चर्य की बात नहीं है | जैसे राधा – कृष्ण जन्म पर शिवादि का दर्शनार्थ आगमन इसी प्रकार सर्वत्र समझना चाहिए | श्री मद्भागवत १०/३५/१५
‘ शक्रशर्वपरमेष्ठि पुरोगाः ‘ इनमें इन्द्र, शिव, ब्रह्मा के साथ ‘पुरोगाः ‘ के अर्थ में इनके टोल भी आये हैं | इन्द्र के साथ अन्य अप्सरा गन्धर्व आदि श्री शिव के दुर्गा, गणेश, स्कन्द आदि ब्रह्मा के साथ सरस्वती व अन्य सनकादि भी कृष्ण कृपा से ब्रज लीला दर्शनार्थ आते हैं देवगण वेश बदल कर भी आते हैं | भा.१०/१८/११ ‘देव गोपाल रूपिणः’ तथा भा.१०/३३/४,१९,२४ भी दृष्टव्य है |

इसी प्रकार राम विवाह में भी बाल काण्ड में ३१८ वें दोहा में भी रमा, पार्वती आदि ‘कपटी नारि वर वेश बनाई’ एवं ३१९ वें दोहा ‘ब्रह्मादि सुरवर विप्र वेश बनाये’ ३१७ में भी ‘लटकौरि गौरि सिखाव रामहि सीय सम सारद कहैं |’
इसी रस वर्षा से लुब्ध देवगण यहाँ आते हैं | तभी तो नाम ‘बरसाना’ है | इसके बाद दुसरे दिन नौमी को लट्ठमार होली होती हैं | जिसमें बरसाने की गोपियां नन्दगाँव के ग्वालों पर लट्ठ ले प्रहार करती हैं और वे रोकते हैं और रसिकों ने श्री कृष्ण की गोरवपूर्ण हार का वर्णन करके बड़े शान के साथ उनके भागने का भी वर्णन किया है | यह भागते रस देखिये |

माधव दास जी की प्रसिद्व घमार
हो – हो बोलत डोलत मोहन खेलत होरी |
बंस लिये गोपी हाथ भरे रंग भाजन फोरी |
मार परी मुरी आय टिके ब्रजराज की पौरी ||
यहाँ लट्ठमार में बांस या लट्ठ की परम्परा क्यों रखी गयी है ? इसके कई कारण हैं | जैसे नायक की अधिक चपलता को रोकने के लिए लकुट ही काम आती है |
श्री विट्ठल दास जी की प्रसिद्ध धमार
या ब्रज में होरी रंग बढ्यौ हो |….
तब नन्दनन्दन फगुआ देन मिस प्यारी सन्मुख आय ||
मृगमद केसर और अरगजा भीजे उर लपटाय |
तब सकुची गोपी सब गोपी कनक लकुट लै हाथ |
पकरन धाईं छबिले लाल को खसत झीने पटभात |
भागे सकल सखा संग के तब मोहन लीने घेर ||
अछन उठा गयी ले पिय को फिर चितवत मुख फेर |

यही कारण गोवर्धनेश जी की प्रसिद्ध धमार में भी देखिये :-
हों खेलूंगी होरी में आँखिन भरयो न गुलाल | ……
इत हलधर नन्दनन्दन दोउ ग्वालन में कियो शोर |
रतन जटित पिचकारी भरि लीनों केशर नीर ||
ताक-ताक युवती गण उपर छिरक कियो हियो सिर |
तब प्यारी सखियन लै धाई बसन लीने हाथ ||
सुरंग गुलाल उड़ाय दूहूँ दिशि धाय गहे ब्रजनाथ |

इस प्रसंग में नायक की हार ही रस वृद्धि का कारण होती है | यह भी लट्ठ का एक मुख्य कारण हैं | श्रीकृष्ण श्रीजी के लिये हार बनाकर ले जाते हैं | हार के बदले वे पराजय का हार देखकर इनका रस गौरव बढ़ाते हैं |

श्री श्याम दास जी की प्रसिद्ध घमार देखिये :-
खेलो होरी फाग सबे मिली झूमक गावो |
मोहन राधा कारने गुहिलीनो नोसर हार |
हार देत दरसन भयो सब ग्वालन कियो जुहार ||
राधा ललिता सों कह्यो नेक हार हाथ ले लेहु |
चंद्रभगा सों यों कह्यो नेक इन्हीं बैठन देहु ||
वहोते भांति वीरा दिये कीनो बहुत सनमान |
राधा मुख निरखत हरी मानो कमल करत मधुपान |
मोहन कर पिचकाई लिये बांस लिय ब्रजनारी
जीती राधा गोपिका सब ग्वालिनी मनीहार ||
यही होरी दशमी को नंदगांव में भी होती है | जिसे हम नंदगांव की ही रंगीली में दिखायेंगे |

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