Sri Bade Dauji – courtesy Sri Vrindavantoday

These days the history of Vrindavan is being forgotten and the center of attraction for visiting devotees has been limited to only one ancient ancient temple, along with a few modern temples. At such a pivotal moment in Vrindavan’s history, it is of the utmost importance to present the story of Vrindavan’s temples to the world.

From time to time we at Vrindavan Today endeavor to introduce you to some of the ancient temples of Vrindavan. Among all the temples, Thakur Shri Govind Dev Ji Maharaj is known as the King of Vrindavan. The original Govind Dev is now in Jaipur, but a pratibhu vigraha (second form) of him still resides in the new temple situated behind the ancient temple.
But before learning about Govind Dev, it is important to learn about his elder brother Bade Dauji (Baldev). Bade Dauji originally resided on the premesis of Govind Dev Ji’s temple. When the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb invaded Vrindavan, Govind Dev and many other deities were spirited away to safety in Jaipur. But Bade Dauji remained in Vrindavan. The devotees took Baldev out of Govind Dev’s temple and hid him near Vrindavan’s Govind Kunj.

Temple sevayat Shri Deepak Goswami says, “The story of Bade Dauji is similar to that of Vrinda Devi and Yogamaya. Before, he resided within Shri Govind Dev ji’s temple itself. When Aurangzeb invaded, the sevayats of Govind Dev entrusted Bade Dauji to my ancestors. For some time he was worshipped in a simple structure behind Govind Dev ji’s temple. Later, a temple was constructed for him in Anaj Mandi. In 1835 the Queen of Karauli rennovated the temple.

“There is a verse in this regard. Vrindavan katan lagau, bhaag gae sab dev, Vrindavan thaade rahe yamunaa aur baldev. ‘When grave danger fell upon Vrindavan, all the deities left. Only Shri Yamuna and Baldev Ji remained in Vrindavan.’

“It is said that Raja Jaisingh’s daughter wanted to take Baldev Ji to Jaipur, but she had to go back empty handed. The night before she was supposed to leave, she carefully placed him on a cart. But that night Bade Dauji came in her dream and said, ‘I will not leave Braj.’ In the morning, the princess bowed to Bade Dauji and left on her own for Jaipur.”
The temple of Bade Dauji is situated near the Syndicate Bank, just a short distance from the Nagar Palika.

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