To search this blog

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Celebrating Birth of Lord Sri Krishna ~ Gokulashtami 2023 – Braj Bhoomi

Celebrating Birth of Lord Sri Krishna ~ Gokulashtami  2023 – Braj Bhoomi 

श्री कृष्णं भज मानस सततं

श्रित जन परिपालं गोपालं बालम् !!  

Mathura is the holy place where Lord Krishna was born…. ~ the centre of what is fondly referred as Braj bhoomi.  Remember Lord was born in a prison cell at Mathura, the capital of   Surasena kingdom ruled by Kamsa, the maternal uncle of the Lord.  This is a very old place dating back to Ramayana days.  According to the Archeologists, the Ikshwaku prince Shatrughna slayed a demon called Lavanasura and claimed this  land.  By some accounts this place was a densely wooded Madhuvan.   This place was closely associated with history too.  Centuries later,  Mathura was one of the capitals of Kushan dynasty. Megasthenes, writing in the early 3rd century BCE, mentions Mathura as a great city.

பரம்பொருள் எம்பெருமான் ஸ்ரீகிருஷ்ணர்  அவதார மஹிமை- ஸ்ரீ வேதவியாசர் அருளிச்செய்த ஸ்ரீ மஹா  பாகவதத்தில்  சிறப்புற கூறப்பட்டுள்ளது.  பகவானாகிய ஸ்ரீமந்நாரணர்   பூமிபார நிவர்த்திக்காக வசுதேவரது இருதய கமலத்தில் பிரவேசித்ததினால் சூரிய பகவானைப் போல விளங்கிக்கொண்டிருக்கிற  அவ்வசுதேவரிடத்தினின்று சுசீலையான தேவகி தேவியானவள் பகவத் ரூபமான கர்ப்பத்தை யடைந்தாள்.

இந்தச் சமயத்தில் சதுர்முகனும் , சங்கரனும் , இந்திராதி தேவர்களும் , ஸ்ரீ நாரதாதி சமவ்த ரிஷிகளும் ஆகாயத்தில் எழுந்தருளி , இரண்டு கைகளையும் சிரசின்மேல் குவித்துக்கொண்டு, வசுதேவர் தேவகிதேவி இவர்களுக்கு மாத்திரம் பிரசன்னமாகும்படி ஸ்ரீ ஹரியைத் துதி  செய்யத் தொடங்கினார்கள் .  கொடிய இருளை நீக்கி பூமியை விளங்கவைக்கின்ற  குளிர்ந்த கிரணங்களை வீசும் வெள்ளியச் சந்திரன் கீழ்த்திசையில் உதிப்பதுபோல் , தெளிந்த அமுதம்போலும் அழகுவாய்ந்த தேவகிதேவியினிடத்தினின்றும் பிரகாசம் பொருந்திய நீலமணியினது நிறம்போலும் திருமேனியுடைய பகவான் ஆவணி மாதத்தில் அஷ்டமி திருநாளில், ரோகிணி நக்ஷத்திரத்தில் அவதரித்தார் .

At the place where Lord Krishna was born now exists a Temple popularly known as ‘Janmasthan temple’  -  Kesava Deo Temple considered most sacred for all Hindus.  There is a huge complex comprising of a small temple, the Janmasthan, gallery, a huge temple later built by Dalmiyas – the prison cell – the exact place where Lord Krishna was born is under a doom – all heavily fortified and guarded these days.  At the Janmasthan is the most beautiful  Kehsav Dev(Krishna), the worshipped  deity of this temple. According to traditions the original deity was installed by the  great-grandson of Krishna. 

தண்ணன் தாமரை கண்ணனே !  கண்ணா !  வேய்ங்குழல் ஊதும் ஆயனே ! எங்கள் போரேறே - இவ்வுலகத்தோர் அனைவரையும் காப்பீராக !  -   கிருஷ்ணனின் புகழ் கீதம் பாடு .. ..  கிருஷ்ண பரமாத்மாவின்  ஜனன தினத்தன்று இல்லங்களில் அவன்  திருப்பாதம் வரைந்து,  அவரை வரவேற்று, பழங்கள், பக்ஷணங்கள் செய்து அவருக்கு சமர்ப்பித்து,  அவரது விக்கிரஹங்களை அலங்கரித்து, நல்ல மணமுள்ள மாலைகள் சூட்டி,  கண்ணனது பிறப்பை வெகு விமர்சையாக கொண்டாடுகிறோம்.

Of the many sweets, there is “Mathura Peda”  reddish-brown sweet dishes lined up in a sweet shop that can allure you !  .. and long back have seen a Sweetshop by name ‘Brajwasi Sweets’.  Understand that there is a shop in Kalbadevi which is decades old – not sure whether other shops have copied or .. .. but they refer uniquely to the land of Bhagwan Sreekrishna was learnt much later by me !!

                                                            Beautiful Krishna at native Dusi Mamandur

சூரசேனர்  என்பவர்  யது குல வம்சத்தினர் -  சூரசேன நாட்டை  ஆண்டவர்.  இந்த சூரசேன நாடு தற்கால மதுரா.  சூரசேனர் கிருஷ்ணரின் தந்தை வழி தாத்தா ஆவார்.   சூரசேனரின் மகன் வசுதேவர், கம்சனின் தங்கையான தேவகி மற்றும் ரோகிணி தேவி ஆகியோரின் கணவர் ஆவார். மேலும் பாண்டவர்களின் தாயான குந்தி சூரசேனரின் மகளாவார். இவரின் மகனாக வசுதேவர் – தேவகிக்கும் பிறந்தவரே கிருட்டிணன் ஆவார். வசுதேவரின் முதல் மனைவியான ரோகிணிக்குப் பிறந்தவர்களே பலராமன் மற்றும் சுபத்திரை ஆவர்.

Braj, also known as Brij or Brijbhoomi, is a region in India on both sides of the Yamuna river with its centre at Mathura-Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh state encompassing the area which also includes Palwal and Ballabhgarh in Haryana state, Bharatpur district in Rajasthan state and Morena District in Madhya Pradesh.  Within Uttar Pradesh it is very well demarcated culturally, the area stretches from the Mathura, Aligarh, Agra, Hathras and Jaleshar districts up to the Farrukhabad, Mainpuri and Etah districts.  

Braj is the land of Sree Krishna – born in Mathura, grew up in Vrindavan, Gokul and Govardhan .. .. the term Braj is derived from the Sanskrit word vraja (व्रज). Vraja was first mentioned in Rigveda, and in Sanskrit it means a pasture, shelter or resort for cattle from Sanskrit term "vraj" which means "go" in English. It is located 150 km south of Delhi and 50 km northwest of Agra.

The land of Braj is full of sacred places, reverred on account of their being the reputed haunts and homes of Krishna. The pilgrims can never rest until they have made the round of these holy shrines, and hence, especially upon the occasion of Krishna's birthday, called JanmAshtami, falling in the month Bhadon, corresponding with our August-September, in the midst of the rainy season, they may be found by the thousands making the Ban Jathra, or perambulation of Braj. 

According to Gazetter of India, Uttar Pradesh, the district of Mathura has been named after the headquarters town which, according to oral and literary traditions, was called Madhu-puri or Madhura (the sweet or lovely one), The name ‘Mathura' is also very old and means ‘city of churns’. It is stated in the Ramayana that Shatrughna (Rama's brother) made this place his capital. Another legend has it that in ancient times there was a vast forest here where bees  and consequently honey (Sanskrit Mudhu) were found in abundance, the name Madhuban being, therefore, given to it. In time the city that grew up here became known as Madhura or Mathura. Ptolemy mentions it under the name of Modoura. 

                                                      Beautiful Krishna at Thiruvelukkai Alari thirukkovil

The four principal entrances to the city are called the Brindaban, Dig, Bharatpur, and Holi Gates. The latter is also called the Hardinge Gate, in honor of the late  Bradford Hardinge, who was magistrate and collector at the time the beautiful and elaborately carved stone arch was erected over the main street leading from the civil station into the city. The center of the portal is surmounted with a clock.

It would appear that at the time of Hwen Thsang's visit in the middle of the 17th century Buddhism was on the decline, and in the beginning of the eleventh century the Mohammedan historians describe Mathura as an almost exclusively Brahmanical city. Mahmud of Ghazni sacked the city in 1017, when the historian records: "The town was constructed of hard stone, had opening on the river two gates, raised on high, and massive basements to protect them from the floods. On the two sides of the city were thousands of houses with idol temples attached, all of masonry and strengthened throughout with bars of iron, and opposite them were other buildings supported on stout wooden pillars. In the middle of the city was a temple, larger and finer than the rest, to which neither painting nor description could do justice. If anyone wished to construct a building equal to it he would not be able to do so without  expending a hundred million dinars, and the work would occupy two hundred years, even though the most able and experienced workmen were employed." "On the decline of Buddhism," says Growse, "Mathura acquired that character for sanctity which it still retains as the reputed birthplace of the deified Krishna. Or, more probably, the triumph of Buddhism was a mere episode, on the conclusion of which the

city reacquired a character which it had before enjoyed at a much earlier period ; for it may be inferred from the language of the Greek geographers that Brahmanism was in their time the religion of the country, and Hindu tradition is uniform in maintaining its glory.


But was ravaged many a times by Mohammadean invaders.  So complete had been the destruction of the city by the fanatical Mohammedans that save a few relics nothing earlier than the sixteenth century can be found. More than five hundred years of plunder and rapine had almost completely wiped out all traces of the magnificent old rich  Hindu city, so that the modern city does not even occupy its ancient site. In 1803, upon the fall of Aligarh, then held by the French, Mathura came under British rule and was made a military station on the British frontier, whose western boundary was the Jamuna River. From this time onward, interrupted only by a number of famines and the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857, the city continued to grow in prosperity.  In 1832 Mathura was made the capital of a new district. On the memorable fourteenth of May, 1857, the mutiny broke out at Meerut. Mr. Mark Thornhill was magistrate and collector at Mathura, who took steps to protect the city and guard the more than four and a half lakhs of rupees then lying in the local treasury. He applied for aid from the adjoining native state of Bharatpur.

                        Emperuman Sri Parthasarathi, the divine flautist Krishna on day 2 of Irapathu 2023 

Bhagwan Sree Krishna was not exactly a mighty hero of the epic Mahabarat admired for his superhuman powers, but He was born in adverse circumstances and grew up amidst difficulties and challenges, yet played with shepherds, amusing all around, and at the same time gave us the greatest ideals of life.  He along with Balarama played sports and then in the course killed the tyrant King.  He repeatedly defended Mathura against the attacks of Kamsa, son-in-law of  Jarasandha,  king of Magada, and Kalayatana, king of  the Yavanas, but, to save his people from further trouble, deported the entire city in a moment to Dwaraka, the exact counterpart of  Mathura, which HE  had prepared in the midst of the distant sea.    

This year at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam and in other places, we celebrate the birth of Lord Sree Krishna today on Thursday, 7.9.2021.   

adiyen Srinivasa dhasan
Mamandur veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar                         
7th Sept 2023. 
Some of the above excerpted  from the book ‘Braj’ – the Vaishnava Boly land by Rev JE Scott in 1906  


  1. Beautiful explanations sir. Katradhu kal alavu kalladhadhu ulagaluvu. From your post and clear explanations of our Sanathan dharma. I'm learning a lot.

  2. thanks. Would have been happier if you had identified yourself too. More importantly, there is clear message 'what is learnt (by me) is little' - fortunate enough to be living in a divyadesam and hearing the knowledge of so many great persons.. adiyen dhasan S Sampathkumar