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In Praise of Shri Vrindavan Dham

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Vrindavan, 2017.06.06 (VT): The following traditional Braj Bhasha prayers describe the glories of Shri Vrindavan. These centuries-old verses are still popular amongst the Brajwasis. The translations are by Krishnaa Kinkari Dasi, published in her book Dhanya Dhanya Vrishabhanu Dulhari.

वृन्दावन धाम नीको ब्रज कौ विश्राम नीको
श्यामा श्याम नाम नीको मंदिर आनंद को
कालीदह न्हान नीको यमुना पयपान नीको
रेणुका को खान नीको स्वाद मानो कंद कौ
राधाकृष्ण कुंड नीको संतन को संग निको
गौरश्याम रंग नीको अंग जुग चंद को
नील पीतपट नीको बंसीवट तट नीको
ललित किशोरी नीको नट नीको नन्द को

vrindavan dhaam neeko brij kau vishram neeko
shyaamaa shyam naam neeko mandir aanand ko
kalideh nhaan neeko yamunaa pay-paan neeko
renuka ko khaan neeko swaad maano kand ko
radha-krishn kund neeko santan ko sang neeko
gaur-shyam rang neeko ang jug chand ko
neel peet-pat neeko bansivat tat neeko
lalit kishori neeko nat neeko nand ko

Shri Vrindavan Dham is most charming, and spending time there is delightful! The amazing Names of the Divine Couple Shri Shyama-Shyam are bring bliss in all the temples. It is so good to bathe at the place where Sri Krishna pacified the black snake Kaliya, and how lovely it is to sip the waters of the Sri Yamuna River. Braj is a splendid treasure trove of dust and each grain of it tastes like a sugar lump! Radhakund and Shyamkund are stunningly beautiful, and the company of saints is very gratifying. The contrast of the Divine Couple’s fair and dark forms is most beautiful; together they look like two resplendent moons. Their blue and yellow contrasting dress is very attractive and wonderful is the Bansivat tree near the Sri Yamuna River where Shri Krishna sits and plays the flute. The poet Lalit Kishori sings, “How magnificent is Sri Krishna’s form as he plays as the Very Best Divine Dancer!”

एक रज रेणुका पै चिंतामणि वारि डारौं
वारि डारौं विश्व सेवाकुंज के विहार पै
लतान की पतान पै कोटि कल्प वारि डारौ
रंभा हू कौ वारि डारौ गोपिन के द्वार पै
बृज की पनिहारिन पै रती सची वारि डारौ
वैकुण्ठ हू वारि डारों कालिंदी की धार पै
कहै अभे राम एक राधा जू को जानत हैं
देवन कौ वारि डारो नन्द के कुमार पै

ek raj renuka pai chintamani vaari daro
vaari daro vishwa sevakunj ke vihar pe
lataan ki pataan pe koti kalp vaari daro
rambha hu ko vaari daro gopin ke dwaar pe
brij ki panihaarin pe rati sachi vaari daro
vaikunth hu vaari daro kalindi ki dhaar pe
kahe abhay ram ek radha ju ko jaanat hai
devan ko vaari daro nand ke kumar pe

The wish-giving Chintamani gem bows down to one grain of Braj’s sand. The whole wide world takes shelter of Shri Krishna’s pastimes in the Seva Kunj garden. The heavenly Kalpa Vriksh tree that grants so many favours surrenders itself to the twining creepers whilst the heavenly damsel Rambha remains humbly surrendered at the doors of the Gopis’ homes. Rati, the wife of the love-god, and Sachi, wife of Indra, humble themselves before the Braj girls as they carry their water from the river, and the whole of the heavenly realm of Vaikuntha pays respect to the River Yamunaji. The poet Abhay Ram says, “I know none other than Shri Radhaji, and every single god bows down in submission to the son of Nand, Shri Krishna.”

कीरत सुता के पग-पग पै प्रयाग यहाँ
केशव की कुँज केलि कोटि कोटि काशी हैं
यमुना में जगन्नाथ रेणुका में रामेश्वर
तरु तरु तरे यहाँ अयोध्या निवासी हैं
गोपिन के द्वार-द्वार हरिद्वार बसत यहाँ
बदरी केदार यहाँ फिरत दास दासी हैं
स्वर्ग अपवर्ग बृथा ही लै करेंगे कहा
जानि लेहु हमें हम वृन्दावन वासी हैं

keerat sutaa ke pag-pag pe prayaag yaha
keshav ki kunj keli koti koti kaashi hai
yamuna mein jagannath renuka mein rameshwar
taru taru tare yahan ayodhya niwasi hai
gopin ke dwar dwar haridwar basat yahan
badari kedar yahan phirat das dasi hai
swarg apavarg brithaa hi lai karenge kaha
jani lehu hame ham vrindavan vasi hai

The holy pilgrimage spot Prayag takes shelter of every single footstep of Shri Kirti’s daughter, Radhaji, whilst thousands of the holy city Varanasi cannot equal the forest groves where Shri Krishna plays. Shri Jagannathji resides within the Yamuna River and Rameshwarji can be found in every single grain of sand of Braj. Haridwaar stands humbly at the door of every Gopi’s home, and Badrinath and Kedarnath wander around in Braj as male and female servants. The rewards of heaven and liberation are useless compared to life here. Know that what I say is true, for I am a Brajwasi.

बृज ही में मोरन के पच्छन कौ मुकुट धार्यो
बृज ही में रस केलि करन हुलासते
बृज ही में जूरा दै बनायौ नटवर वेष
बृज ही के लोगन कूँ बाँधे प्रेम पासते
बृज ही के फूलनि सिंगारे रहत द्यौस निसि
बृज ही के नागर कहावै गुन रासते
बृज संबंधी रूप लीला सब जग गाई
पाई परमेसुर हू शोभा बृज वासते

brij hi mein moran ke pachhan ko mukut dhaaryo
brij hi mein ras keli karan hulaaste
brij hi mein joora dai banayo natavar vesh
brij hi ke logan ku bandhe prem paas te
brij hi ke phoolani singare rahat dhyos nisi
brij hi ke naagar kahavai gun raas te
brij sambandhi roop leela sab jag gaai
paai paramesur hu shobha brajvaas te

Only in Braj, Shri Krishna wears a crown of peacock feathers and here alone He enjoys the Raas Lila. Only here in Braj does he play as the best of dancers, and it is here alone that he ties everyone up with the bonds of love. It is with the flowers of Braj that He decorates himself day and night, and here he manifests a treasure store of fine qualities. The whole world sings about his form and pastimes as they are in Braj, and it is through connection to this magnificent Braj land that our Shri Krishna is famed as the most beautiful One.

छबि थी छबि रासि के सन्मुख जो वह दीखती है छबि आज यहाँ
बन बीथिया वृक्षलता द्रुम है सब सुन्दर साज समाज यहाँ
अति पावन प्रेम का भाव लिए रहता नित ही रसराज यहाँ
बहती रस की सरिता बृज में रहते अब भी बृजराज यहाँ

chhabi thi chhabi ke sanmukh jo vah deekhti hai chhabi aaj yaha
ban beethiya vriksh-lata drum hai sab sundar saaj samaaj yaha
ati paavan prem ka bhaav liye rahataa nit hi rasaraaj yaha
bahati ras ki saritaa brij mein rahate ab bhi brijraaj yaha

The beauty of Braj Dham is far beyond any other beauty. All the narrow paths and lanes here are decorated with gorgeous trees and creeping vines. The Lord of all divine loving pastimes always resides here in Braj, generating the most pure mood of heartfelt love. The River of Nectar flows here and Shri Krishna has his home here.

नेम करो तुम कोटिन हू पै प्रेम बिना नहि काज सरैगो
बारिद कोटिन बूँद परौ बिन महन सूखौ ताल भरैगो
प्रियदास जु ज्ञानरु योग करौ बिनु राधिका नाम न दुख टरैगो
याते प्रपंच कौ दूर करौ बसौ बृजवास तौ पूरौ परैगो

nem karo tum kotin hu pai prem binaa nahi kaaj sarego
baarid kotin boond paro bin mahan sookho taal bharego
priya daas ju gyaan aru yog karo binu radhika naam na dukh tarego
yaate prapanch ko door karo baso brajwaas to puro parego

You can perform many types of spiritual practices, but without love in your heart they will never bring the reward you seek. From a moving cloud may fall millions of droplets, but until there is a concentrated rainfall, the parched lake cannot be restored. The poet Priya Das says, “No matter how much knowledge you acquire, or how much yoga you practise, none of it will truly deliver you from grief until they are linked to Sri Radha’s Name. If you wish to remain far from the wranglings of the world, then you must truly live in the heart of Braj.

जाति के है हम तो बृजवासी सु नहि और जात की बाधा
देश है घोषन चाहत मौख कौं तीरथ श्री यमुना सुख साधा
संतन कौ सत्संग आजीविका कुंजबिहार अहार अगाधा
नगर के कुलदेव गोवर्धन मोहन मंत्ररु इष्ट है राधा

jaati ke hai ham to brajwasi su nahi aur jaat ki badha
desh hai ghoshan chaahat maukh ko teerath shri yamunaa sukh sadha
santan ko satsang aajeevikaa kunj-bihaar ahaar agaadhaa
nagar ke kuldev govardhan mohan mantr aru isht hai radha

My only true identity is that I am a Brajwasi; the obstacles associated with birth or caste cannot restrict me. This land is a place where we live with the cows, not a spot for seeking liberation. All the acts of pilgrimage are satisfied just by being in the presence of Shri Yamuna River. For souls on the path of love, it is a land where they can have saintly company for the rest of their lives, have darshan of Shri Krishna’s divine lilas, and survive exclusively on prasad (blessed food). The poet Nagari Das says, “My Lord is Shri Govardhan, my mantra is Shri Krishna’s Name, and my Divine Heroine is Shri Radha.”

 

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