A BRIEF ABOUT LORD KRISHNA
On and off the record 330 million – or in a local slang Muppathi Mukkodi – Gods are being worshiped across India that divided into 29 states and 7 union territories speaking around 28 different languages over the length and breadth of the country. And one divine name finds its relevance everywhere, for every kind of people surviving many generations without losing its charisma a bit, that is none other than ‘Lord Krishna’.
Lord Krishna is believed to be born in Mathura which is around 150 km from the capital city of India, Delhi, and 50 km from Agra. The place that still breaths its life with the stories revolving around His birth, His childhood naughtiness, His tender age heroics, His youth’s love stories, His adulthood intellectual wisdom. The place recognized for and reverberates in the memory of His life where lakhs of devotees visit every day known as Mathura in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
WHY MATHURA IS SO FAMOUS
When rivers used to define the divinity of many mythological aspects of a holy place and River Ganga has been connected to many places like Kashi, Haridwar, etc, in Mathura, it is river Yamuna which was related to this place and life of Krishna. Even now the core of the area known as Brij bhumi is divided into two based on the river banks into either side namely eastern and western parts. Approximately 5000 Lord Krishna temples in this small city prove the long relationship between the divinity of Lord Krishna and this place.
AN UNEXPECTED WOW MOMENT
During a trip to explore Mathura, we landed up first in a temple which located very close to the highway known as Radha Vrindavan Chandra Mandir. There was nothing special except the temple was huge, peaceful with architectural excellence of modern times, constructed with the latest know-how and technology which might become a trademark for the temple. The temple belongs to Lord Krishna and it looked like ‘money can do anything type’ building even the view of grand arch entrance gate leading to the temple from outside.
But that impression took a toss as soon as we came to know about the volume of effort they were doing very religiously every day. This temple provides meals to poor kids covering almost every school in the district and nearby villages, a continuation of such work after successful implementation by ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) Bangalore. The temple is also known as Akshaya Patra temple, a name provided very thoughtfully from Puranas which literally means a Never-Ending Food bowl. The preparation of food is with the help of huge machines primarily for chappathi (Roti) making – from mixing of wheat flour to the final shape.
THE MAIN DESTINATION REACHED
To be true, this was a temple that had been come on our way because of a mistake with the original destination but it was equally worth like a visit to any historical temple by witnessing how they were making a real change to the society. When asked about the exact location of Lord Krishna’s birthplace they directed us how to reach there and it looked like this place didn’t get its real value which it possesses, with no signboards for how to reach there, even in front of the temple there was no arches or a proper welcome sign to visitors except an amateurish small yellow handwritten board in one side.
Wish if gov’t might have made some sort of changes in order to make a positive perception of visitors by giving priority to infrastructure and all so that the area may transform to appealing and attractive to everyone. But as soon as we realized the importance of this place that looks like still enveloped with the divine aura spread by Lord Krishna we do not care about those things.
A RESEMBLANCE TO WHAT IT WAS 5000 YEARS AGO
The street looked like they were part of the ancient time with cows wandering as it belongs to them and as soon as we reached the temple premises or the Janmasthan. It was way different than how the street looked like. The temple and the complex were very sensitive locations and with the presence of heavy security found all over the place. Since mobile phones and cameras, both banned inside the temple premises special arrangements for depositing those stuff safely were available at the entrance.
The temple is constructed in such a way that it is exactly at the location where Lord Krishna was believed to be born as per the stories we came across. The particular place found to be so divine with the special ambiance it has provided, an easy assumption to the visitors who get confused with the look inside. Many faces from many places and states were found to be content with the blessed moment of being in such a place.
THE BIRTH SECRET
Kansa – the cruel maternal uncle of Lord Krishna wanted to kill all the sons of His parents as there was a prediction through a voice from the sky during his sister Devaki’s wedding with Vasudev, the precise reason why Lord Krishnas’s parents were being imprisoned so to kill each child born to them. The story goes like that Kansa killed all the 7 newborn babies immediately after birth and when Lord Krishna was born, Vasudev had escaped from prison and moved far away to a safe home with infant Krishna.
The Janmabhoomi complex is consists of a temple known as Keshav Dev temple and most of the visitors might consider this to be the temple that Lord Krishna believed to be born. This temple – one of the thousands of Lord Krishna temples are situated within the city albeit with another name, As per the history books, the main deity was installed by the great-grandson of Lord Krishna around 4000 to 5000 years ago.
CAN WE BELIEVE THE HISTORY
Some archeological excavations were supporting this claim through some findings too. It is one of the holiest places that has been preserved intact despite many controversial happenings took place in this location since a long time; from the time of Emperors ruled till recent, but for any new people coming over to experience the history of this city, to witness this beautiful temple along with, the great significance with this divine location associated with the birth of the most loved God in India makes it worth in.
THE FAMOUS STEP WELL
Another magnificent location very closely related to the stories of Lord Krishna is a water body known as Potra Kund with specially designed steps all around. Lord Krishna’s parents used this area for bathing and washing of clothing. The steps constructed with red sandstones were maintained carefully by concerned authorities that looked like free from any major damages. There were many more temples that are famous and special in its own unique ways in Mathura but having visited many Lord Krishna temples with one special mention of Sri Guruvayoor temple in Kerala and had seen how affectionately the visiting devotees are embraced in the temple premises for Darshan, then it would be very easy to understand the extent of Importance and expectation this place carries over the centuries:
- This story has been first published in my private blog https://exploredeindia.wordpress.com/
- Wikipedia page for more stories of Lord Krishna – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishna