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Holy Places Situated on the Bank of the Yamuna
The entire course of the Yamuna river is important, pnd wherever one takes bath, one will become free from the cycle of birth and death, and very quickly get the opportunity to serve the Lotus.feet of Lord-Krishna. But due to Lord Krishna's or His pure devotees enjoying, or performing austerities at a particular place, some places have become even more important.
Below are described some of the more prominent places ; — This list is far from complete The Yamuna river rises from the glaciers of the Kalinda mountain end thus she is also known by the name 'Kalindi* (the daughter of Kalinda).
YAMNOTRI—At about four miles from Kalinda mountain is Yamnotri which is traditionally celebrated as the source of the Yamuna river. An extraordinary phenomenon is seen here. From the Kalinda mountain ice-cold water is running, and nearby a number of hot springs rise up. As it is not possible to baihe in the boiling hot water, nor the ice-cold water, there have been constructed tanks near Yamnotri, where the hot and cold waters mix. ( Many pilgrims put rice, dhal or even flour into a cloth and hang it into the water, and in this way, they boil their food). There is a very beautiful deity of Yamuna-devi worshiped here which dates back at least five thuosand years. One who comes here and offers their obeisances to Yamiun-devi, and takes a dip in the sacred waters, will very quickly attain the mercy of Shri Yamuno-devi- The sage Asita had his ashram here. When Lord Nityananda-Prabhu was touring the holy places, He also visited this Place. Yamnatri can be reached by bus, private car from Hrishi-kesh between mid-April and late October.
BANDARPUNCH—This mountain is not far from Yamnotri. When the great devotee 'Hanuman' had gone to Lanka to search* out Shri Sita-devi, he had been captured by the followers of Ravana, and to pun'sh him, his tail had been set on fire. After which Hanuman expanded his body and started to set on fire the whole of Lanka. After he had successfully set Lanka ablaze, he jumped from there to this place and extinguished his tail in the water of the Yamuna. This place is known as 'Bandarpunch' (monkey's tail).
After the Yamuna has passed through 'Yamnotri' and 'Bandarpunch' she runs througn the Himalayan Mountains for about eighty miles, being joined on the way by smaller streams. When she passes through the Siwaliks range, the river Tons mingles into her waters just close to Kalsi. After Yamuna-nagar, she flows close to Kurukshetra. Previously, Yamuna's course had touched the holy place of Kurukshetra, where the greet battle between the Kauravas and the Pandvas had taken place, it was in this area that Yamuna-devi in the form of 'Kalindi' had performed austerities to get Lord Krishna as her husband.
Next the Yamuna flows through the districts of Karnal Muzzafarnagar and Meerut. Just before reaching New-Delhi she flows close to Sukatal, where Shrila Sukadev Goswami recited the Shrimad-Bhagavatarn for seven days before Maharaja Pankshit. On the full-moon day of the month of Kartik (October/November) that beautiful recitation was concluded.
At Suka-Tal there is an old Banyan tree known by ihe name 'Brahmachari Vat. This place is located thirty miles north of Delhi. Next Yamuna flows through New-Delhi* the modern day capital of India, which had previously been the site of the capital of Yudhisthir Maharaj, known as 'Indraprastha.* After Yamuna flows through the district of Gurgaon, she reaches Hasanpur, where she enters into Braja-Dbam. This Braja Dham, although appearing to be situated in India, is actually nondifferent from the original Goloka Vrindavan. This entire area is not detroyed when the universe is destroyed. It encompasses an area, when measured from Mathura as its centre, of forty-two miles in every direction.
UVE—Next the Yamuna reaches this plaee, where we find 'Ram-ghat', which is where Lord Balarama, the elder brother of Lord Krishna enjoyed Rasa-lila with His gopi girl friends. While Lord Balarama was enjoying dancing with the gopis on the full-moon of the spring season, the demigod known as Varuna sent his daughter 'Varuni' in the form of liquid honey oozing from the hollows of the trees. Drinking that Varuni beverage along with His gopi girl-friends, Balarama became very happy.
This pastime is narrated in "Krishna Book" as follows :
"While Balarama was in that happy mcod, He desired to enjoy the company of the gopis in the water of the Yamuna. Therefore He called Yamuna to come nearby.
Bnt Yamuna neglected the order of Balaramaja, considering Him to be intoxicated. Lord Balarama became very much displeased at Yamuna's neglecting His order. He immediately wanted to scratch the land near the river with His plough share. Lord Balarama has two weapons, a plough and a club, and He takes service from them when they are required. This time He wanted to bring the Yamuna by force, and He took the help of His plough He wanted to punish Yamuna because she did not come in obedience to His order, He addressed Yamuna : "You wretched river. You did no care for My order. Now I shall teach | you a lesson. You did not come to Me voluntarily. Now with the help of My plough I shall force you to come. I shall divide you into hundreds of scattered streams." When Yamuna was threatened like this, she became greatly afraid of the power of Balarama and immediately came in person, falling at His lotus feet and praying thus : "My dear Balarama, You are the most powerful personality, and You are pleasing to everyone. Unfortunately, I forgot Your glorious, exalted position, but now I have come to my senses.and I remember thnt You hold all the planetary systems on Your head merely by Your partial expansion as Sesa, You are the sustainer of the whole universe. My dear Supreme Personality of Godhead, You are full of six opulences. Because I forgot Your omnipotence, I have mistakenly disobeyed Your order, andthus I have become a great offender. But, my dear Lord, please know that I am a surrendered soul unto You. You are very much affectionate to Your devotees. Therefore please excuse my impudence and mistakes and, by Your causeless mercy, may You now release me."
Upon displaying this submissive attitude, Yamuna was forgiven and when she came nearby,Lord Balarama wanted to enjoy the pleasure of swimming within her water along with the gopis in the same way an elephant enjoys himself along with his many she-elephanis. After a long time, when Lord Balarnma had enjoyed to His full satisfaction, He came out of the water, and immediately a goddess of fortune offered Him a nice blue garment and a valuable necklace made of gold. After taking bath in the Yamuna, Lord Balarama, dressed in bJue garments and decorated with golden ornaments, looked very attractive to everyone. Lord Balarama's complexion is white, and when He was properly dressed He looked exactly like the white elephant of King Indra in the heavenly planet, The River Yamuna still has many small branches due to being scratched by the ploughshare of Lord Balarama. And all these branches of the River Yamuna are still glorifying the omnipo-tency of Lord Balarama."
At this Place is an old Balarama temple next to which is an Asvata tree dating 5,000 years.
CHIRA GHATA—It was at this place that Krishna stole the clothes of the young unmarried gopi girls, thus fulfilling their desire to have Krishna as their husband. Close by is one Katyayani-devi temple, whom the gopis worshipped some five thousand years ago. The name of the village in which this Chira ghata is situated is Syaro; at a half a mile distance is 'Tapovan', where the gopis observed the Katyayani
Vrata to attain Krishna as their husband.
NANDA GHATA—It was at this ghata >he servants of Varuna ( the demigod in charge of the waters ) arrested Nanda Maharaja; Maharaj was later freed by the personal request o his son Lord Krishna. Shrila Jiva Goswami lived in a large crocodile hole at this place for some time. It was here where he compiled his §at Sandarbas, One can still see this bhajan stali of Shrila
Jiva Goswami. Nanda ghata is three miles from Chin ghata.
VRINDAVAN —Previously the Yamuna used to encircle Vrindavana, which is the place where Lord Krishna enjoyed the rasa-lila aloug with the gopis. Today, many of the ghats are not touched by the Yamuna and have fallen into a state of disrepair, But still these places are visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year, who touch the dust to their heads to sancrify themselves. It is considered that they get the same benefit as when the Yamuna's water was actually touching them.
VARAHA GHATA—This is the first of the ghats of Vrindavana. At this place Lord Krishna showed His Varaha-form ( Boar ) to the gopis. Gautom Rishi performed austerities here also.
MOHAN TER GHATA—It was at this place that cupid tried to fire his arrow of lust at Lord Krishna, while He was dancing with the gopis, but instead he was himself overcome with lusty feelings. Thus, Lord Krishna is known as 'Madana-Mohan.
GO GHATA—It was here that Nanda Maharaj would give cows in charity. And one will attain great merit and very easily be able to enter into Goloka Vrindayana if one renders service to the cows, or gives charity at this place. At this time there is a large goshalla of the name "Bhaktived-an ta Swami Goshalla, here belonging to the' Internationa) Society for Krishna Consciousness," of which "His Divine Grace, A. C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada" was the Founder Acharya.
KALIYA GHATA—It was here that the Kaliya serpent was chastised by Lord Krishna. ( Refer to story in the Tenth Canto of Shriroad-Bhagavatam ) Here also oie can see the Samadhi temple of Prabhodananda Srraswati.
SURYA GHATA—This piece is also known as'Prakasha-nanda Tilth.' Surya (the sun-god ) performed austerities here to attain darshan of Lord Krishna. At this place there is a hill of the name. Dvadasaditya Tila,' on which Shrila San-atana Goswami had his 'Bhajan-kutir.' Sanatan Goswami's deity of the name 'Madana-Mohana', and a Temple of the same name, is here, Also Shrila Sana tana Goswami's Samadhi is situated here.
Nsxt come KADIYA-GHATA, YUGAL GHATA, where a very old temple of Yugal Bihari stands-
DUSA GHATA, SRIJI GHATA, BIHARUI GHATA, DAROIYA GHATA, BHEEM GHATA and ANDHERA GHATA, where Krishna and the gopis would play hide-and-seek-one of them would have their eyes bound and then would try to catch the others. This ghata was constructed by Raja-Maan-Singh of Jaipur.
IMLI-TALA GHATA —Once while Krishna was enjoying rasa-lila with the gopis in Vrindavsn, Shrimati Radharani, Who was the topmost and most beautiful of all the gopis, left that dancing arena. When Krishna realized that Radharani had gone, He immediately left all of those other gopis and went to search out Shrimati Radharani in the groves of Vrinda-vana. After seai-ching intensely for Her, Lord Krishna came to this Imli-Tala ( Tamarind-tree ) which was one uf the dear-most plr.ces of Shrimati Radharani. Sitting under this tree, Krishna started to chant the name of Shrimati Radharani. And as He became more and more absorbed in His feeling of separation from Shrimati Radharani, His blackish coloured body took on the golden hue of Shrimati Radharani's body. At that moment Shrimati Radharani, along with Her girl friends arrived, and had the darshan of that golden foim of Lord Krishna in the mood of intense separation. Shrimati Radharani spoke to Her friends, "This is definitely Krishna sitting here." At that moment Krishna again came out of His intense mood of separatiou and saw Shrimati Radharani and Her girl-friends standing there. Shrimati Radharani came for ward and inquired from Krishna as to the meaning of this golden form which had never been seen before.Lord Krishna replied, "After I had searched throughout Vrindayana for you. I arrived at this place and sitting here, I started to chant Your name, and slowly My body started to take on the golden colour of your body. Next My feelings and sentiments were replaced by Yours, and thus 1 was able to experience the intense mood of Your separation from Me, which I had never been able to taste previously. In the Kali-yuga, I will again take on that mood and form and will distribute Love of God to all of the conditioned souls."
After speaking thus, Krishna, along with Radharani, and all of the other gopis, started to enjoy Tneir rasa-dance again, This story is from the 'Varaha-Samhita.' In Kali-yuga, when Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Golden Incarnation of Lord Krishna, came to Vrinda-vana, He would regularly come and sit under this same Tamarind-tree ( Imli-tala ), And while chanting (he Names of Krishna-HARE KKISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE—in the mood of estatic separation from the Lord, His golden body would take en the blackish hue of Lord Krishna. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabfau ki Jaya.
Shrila Rupa Goswami, in his Dana Keli Kaumudi, has described how after Krishna had been bathed ( Abhishek ) by King Indra and the other demigods, at Govinda-kund on the side of Govardhana Hill, Purnamasi ( the personality of Yoga-Maya) arranged with Vrinda-devi ( the goddess of Vrindayan ) for the Maha-Abhishek of Shrimati Radharani, to install Her as the Queen of Vrindavam. at this place ( Imli tala). For the purpose of performing this cererrony. the wives of all of the demigods came along with all of the Holy Rivers in their personified forms, to install Shrimati Radharani as the Queen of Vrindavana.(Vrindavanesvari)
Krishna Himself came at that time and bowed His head, accepting Radharani as Vrindavana's Queen and controller. The residents of Vrindavana accept Shrimati Radharani ss the Centre Her of Vrindavana and Krishna greeting each other with the words—"RADHE—RADHE"—they pray to Shrimati Radharani that She may protect them and allow them to always reside in Vrindavana. One wno does not accept Shrimati Radna-rani as the Queen and Coutroller of Vrindavana will very quickly be driven out of Vrindavana by Lord Krishna.
SRINGAR-VAT GHATA-Here, Lord. Krishna would decorate Shrimati Radharani with jewellery and tilaka, He would also arrange Her hair.
Nityananda Prabhu, when visiting Vrindavana, spent several days in seclusion at this place.
GOVINDA GHATA —It was here, when Krishna was enjoying the Maha-Rasa Dance ( as described in the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatara ). He dissappeared from the company of the gopis.
CHIR GHATA—At this ghat Krishna rested afrer having killed the kesi-demon. Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also rested here. This ghat is not to be confused with the Chir ghat, at which Lord Krishna stole the gopi's clothes as claimed by some unscrupulous persons.
BHRAMAR GHATA—While Radha and Krishna were sitting together here, enjoying each others company, such a sweet fragrance was emanating from Their bodies that the bhramars (blackbees) came in large numbers.
KESI GHATA—Lord Krishna killed the Kesi-demon here ( the story is described in the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam ). One who bathes at this place gets the benefit of bathing in all of the Holy Places. This is the only ghat in Vrindavana which is stil! touched by the Yamuna River throughout the year. Arati is performed to the Yamuna at sunset daily here.
DHIR-ASMIRA GHATA—Here the wind moved very slowly to give pleasure to Radha and Krishna, Who were enjoying in the groves at this place. On the sandy bank of the Yamuna, here the gopis laid out their covering clothes to make a sitting place for Lord Krishna, when He returned after He had disappeared during theMaha Rasa Dance.
PANIGHATA— When the gopis were going to visit Durvasa-muni with the hope of being blessed by the great sage with the benedictions of alwajs having Krishna's association, arrived here on the b?nk of the Yamuna. Tney addressed the Yamuna, "On the strength of Krishna being a strict brahmachari, kindly allow us to cross."
Upon hearing these words, the Yamuna parted her waters and allowed them to cross. When they reached Durvasa muni's ashram, they offered their respects to him and fed him sumptuously with the food-stuffs they had brought with them. Durvasa muni, being very pleased with them, blessed them all and specially blessed Shrimati Radharani with the benediction that whatever She would cook would taste like nectar. And whoever would eat that cooking would achieve a long life without disease. Due to this benediction, Motner Yasoda ( Krishna's mother ) invited Radharcnj to come and cook for Lord Krishna daily. While returning. Durvasa-muni advised the gopis to tell the Yamuna that as true as Krishna is a brahmachari, Durvasa-muni is always fasting, thus she would give passage for them to return.
The Yamuna River now flows at some distance from this ghat, taking a large bend away from Vindavana. before flowing down to Mathura.
ADI-BADRI-GHATA—It was at this place where Shrila Vyasadeva compiled the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagayatam.
RaJ-GHATA—Here Krishna, disguised as a boatman, took the gopis across the Yamuna, but before taking them, He insisted that had to wash the feet of one of them, otherwise. His boat would not take them. When they inquired from Him, whose feet He wished to wash, He consulted with His boatman, and informed them that He wished to wash Shrimati Radharani's feet. At first, Shrimati Radharani refused, to which Krishna replied that His boat also refused to take them across the Yamuna. Eventually Shrimati Radharani agreed. And She allowed the boatman ( Krishna ) to wash Her feet. After having washed Her feet, He sprinkled that water on His heid, on the Yamuna, and on His boat; after which He allowed the gopis to sit on the boat. He started to take them across the Yamuna, but half way across the Yamuna, He told them that He could not row any further as He was feeling very weak due to hunger; and thus they should feed Him the milk products which they had with them. At first they refused but after seeing no alternative they fed Him. Krishna thus ate all of their milk products and threw the empty containers into the Yamuna. Being completely bloated, Krishna laid back in the boat, unable, to move. When Radharani saw this, She asked one of Her girl-friends to see what was wrong with Him. After checking for a momet, She started to laugh, and pulling out Krishna's flute from under the bortman's clothing, She revealed His true identity.
AKRURA GHATA • It was here that Krishna showed Akrura His form of Maha-Vishnu lying on His bed of Ana-nta-Sesha. ( Refer to story in the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. ) Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu stayed here when He visited Vrindavana. This is the last of the Vrindavana ghats. The Yamuna has changed her course and she now flows at about half a mile from here, But there is a special well here which contains the transcendental water of the Yamuna and pilgrims take their bath at this well and thus attain the same benefit as bathing in Yamuna River.
MATHURA—Now Yamuna flows through Mathura which is the center of Vraja Mandala. In the Varha Purana it is stated that in the Chaturmasa ( 4 months of the rainy season ) all of the holy places come and reside in Mathura. This Iviathura, although apparently situated in the material world, is considered higher than Vaikuntha (spiritual world); and even higher are the internal forests of Vraja Dhama (Vrindavan, Mahavan, etc); any one who dies here will attain Goloka Vrindavana. There i;re 25 ghatas in Mathura, most of which are in a state of disrepair.
KOTI T1RTHA GHATA—If one who takes bath here he gets the benefit of bathing in koti ( millions ) tirthas ( holy places ) and the benefit of giving koti ( millions ) of cows in charity.
VIGHNARAJA GHATA - One who takes bath here will have all vighna (obstacles) removed from his path in the execution of devotional services.
Vighna raja is a name of Ganesha: "I adore the primeval Lord Govinda, Whose Lotus feet are always held by Ganesh upon the pair of tumuli protruding from his elephant head in order to obtain power for his function of destroying all the obstacles on the path of progress of the three worlds."(B,S,) Close to this gnata is one Ganesh tila (hill), where there is a deity of Ganesh dating back 5 000 years.
Once when the gopis came here to offer worship to Ganesh so that he might remove the obstacles preventing them from meeting Krishna, Krishna Himself manifested as this form of Ganesh and accepted their worship and prayers.
DASASVAMEDHA GHATA—Here in ancient time many sages gathered and performed ten great asvamedha (horse) sacrifices for the glorification of Lord Krishna.
Now by simply coming to this ghata and taking bath, one will get the benefit of performing ten asvamedha sacrifices. In the Adi-Varaha pur ana it is stated that by bathing at DasEsvfrr.edha ghata one will enjoy all the heavenly pleasures fully and then proceed to the spiritual world,
CHAKRA TIRTH GHATA—The Lord's Sudarsan Chakra resides here. When Durvasr.-muni offended Ambarisha Maharaja, Lord Vishnu's Sudarsan Chakra chased him all over the material and spiritual world, until eventully Durvasa-muni surrendered at Ambarisha Maharaja's lotus-feet and begged his forgiveness, Afterwards the Sudarsana Chakra took up his residence here so that be could give protection to Ambarisha Maharaja and also to take shelter of Yamuna-devi and of Mathura. (Refer to story in Bhagavatam, Canto 9, Ch. 4/5) Very close to this ghata is Ambarisha tila where Ambarisha had waited for one full year for the return of Durvasa-muni without breaking his Ekadashi fast. Durvasa-muni took up his residence on the other banK of the Yamuna at a short distance, in Isapur, where there is a temple dedicated to Durvasa-muni. By bathing at this ghata one gets free from the sin of killing a brahman and one who stays here for three days will get Love of God.
SARASWATIPATAN GHATA—One who bathes here will destroy ul) his sinful reactions and even the lowest among men wiU become a qualified sannyasi.
The Yamuna flows tnrougut Braja Dhama as sixteen different strams : Jahnavi, Viiaj, Krishna, Chandr-bhaga, Saraswati, Gomati, Kausiki, Veni, Sindhu, Godayari, Veda-smriti, Vetravati, Satadru, Saraya, Risikulya, Kakudmini, At this ghatn the Saraswati meets the Yamuna, f Although today most of the sixteen streams have disappeared, one can still see the Saraswati which runs through the washerman's and dyeing colony and thus the waters always have a reddish colour to them.
SOMA TIRTH GRATA—This place is also known as Vaikuntha tirth. One who bathes here will attain Vaikuntha. This place is yery dear to the moon-god ( Soma ).
Upamanyu-muni ence had his ashram here. Another name for this place is Krishna Ganga, because once Lord Krishna manifested the Jahnavi (Ganga) river close to here and the Yamuna and Jahnavi meet n this spct(the Jahnavi river can not be seen now). Previously there had been an island in the middle of the Yamuna. It was here on that island that Vedavyasa-deya had been from Satyayati and Parasara-muni. Since Vyasadeva took birth on an island in the Yamuna, he received the name Krishna Dvaipayan Vyasa. For a long time Shrila Vyasadeva performed austerities here and later complied the SRIMAD BHAGA-VATAM on this island.
BRAHMA TIRTH GHATA—Lord Br-dhma performed austerities for one thousand celestial year here. Anyone who bathes in the Yamuna here will, after going to Brahmaloka, finally go to Goloka.
GHANTABHARANAKA GHATA—During the four months of the rainy season, all of the Holy Places and all of the demigods came to Mathura. For these four months Lord Vishnu sleeps and everyone stops their travelling activities during this time, Also all the fire-sacrifices ( mairiage, name-giving etc.) stop. On the tenth day of the bright fortnight of Kartik (Oct.-Nov-). just before the Brahma-muhurt (one and a half hours before Sunrise) of the eleventh day, at this ghata large ghanta ( bell ) is sounded to wake Lord Vishnu, Who is sleeping at Visram-ghata.
DHARA SAMPATANA GHATA-Just above this ghata is Kamsa Kila, where Kamsa had lived (this large fort is now in ruins ). One who leaves his body at this ghata is transferred to Krishna's own abode (Goloka).
SANYAMAN GHATA ( SWAM! GHATA )—After Lord Krishna had killed Kamsa, He took bath at this ghata. Swayambhu-manu had his ashram here. Lord Krishna has declared that it is impossible to fully describe the glories of this place.
NAVA GHATA—In the Adi-Varaha Purana it is stated that there no higher tirtha ( holy place ) and there never will be. Included in the area of Nava ghata is Asi-kund. This kund is situated in the Yamuna, Once when Lord Krishna had crowned Prayag (Allahabad: where the Yamuna, Ganga and Saraswati rivers meet, also known as Triveni) the Tirtha Raj ( King of the Holy Places ), ail of the Holy Places in their persona) forms came to offer iheir respects to their king. When Prayag saw that Mathura had not come, he became very angry and taking up arms he attacked Mathura.
To defend His beloved abode Mathura, Lord Krishna took the form of Dirgha Vishnu (this deity is worshiped in the Giyamandi area of Mathura ). After being defeated, Prayag surrendered here. At that time he inquired from Lord Krishna, why He had defended Mathura, who had acted in a rebellious manner by not coming and bowing down before himself; who had been after all appointed the king of all the tirthas ( holy places )• Lord Krishna informed him that he had been made the king of all holy plaees ( tirthas ) but not of Mathura Dham; for this Mathura is His own Home.
BODHI TIRTHA GMATHA — The famous Gaya resides here and one who makes an ofiering to the forefathers here gets one hundred times the benefit of going to Gaya.
There i» a bodhi-tree ( pipal ) here which is considered non-different to the tree under which Lord Buddha had meditated. It was here also that the great demon Ravana performed austerities to gain control over the three worlds, Close to this ghata is the Deity of Adi-Varaha which dates bacK to the Satya-Yuga. When Ravana had completed his austerities, he took this Deity along with him to Lanka ( Ceylon ), and later when Lord Ramachandra killed Ravana. Shrimati Sitadevi took this Deity of Lord Varaba to Ayodhya with Her.
When Lord Ramachandra sent His younger brother, Lord Satrughana, to Mathura ( theree miles from here ) to chastise Lavanasura, he brought the deity of Lord Varaha wth Him,
VISRAMA-GHATA—Lord Varaha rested Here after He had killed Hiranyakas and lifted the earth out of the Neither-regions.
While resting here, Bhunn ( the presiding deity of the earth ) approached Lord Varaha aad thanked Him. She also inquired about many spiritual and material subjects. Their discussion has been recorded by Shrila Vyasadeva in the Adi-Varaha Purana. After Lord Krishna had killed the domon, He took His bath in the Yamuna and came here to take rest.
When the River Yamuna reached this spot, she took rest for some time and when it was necessary to continue her journey, she stayed here in one of her many forms, The deity of Yamuna-devi, along with her brother Yamaraj can be seen in a temple here. These deities are at least 5,000 years old.
Shrimati Vishakha-devi's only goal is to bring happiness to Radha and Krishna, thus her body, age, and activities are all identical to Shrimati Radharani's. So whenever Lord Krishna sees her, He remembers Shrimati Radharani. In Vishakha-devi's liquid form as the Yamuna River, her waters are of the same colour as Krishna's, so that Shrimati Radharani may remember Lord Krishna, when She sees her. And in her form as Yamuna-devi (Viraja) she looks just like Krishna (she is even sometimes mistaken for Krishna), just to remind Shrimati Radharani of Krishna.
Shrimati Vishakha-devi Ki Jaya !
One who bathes at Visrama-ghata and rests there for a little while, will eertainly attain service at the Lotus feet of Lord Krishna. Araiika is offered to the Yamuna at sunset every day here.
AVIMUKTA GHATA—Here one is guaranteed liberation, just by taking bath
GUHYA GHATA—One who bathes here is even worshiped by the residents of Goloka Vrindavan and he is able to understand all of the guhyas (secrets) of the scriptures.
PRAYAGTIRTHA GHATA - At this place Tirtharaja Prayag stays and one who bathes here will get the benefit of bathing in Triveni multified many thousands of times.
One can have the darshan of Veni-Madhava, whose temple is situated just next to this ghata. This deity was established by Vajranabha (the great-grandson of Lord Krishna) some5,000 years ago.
One who tskes bath at Prayag ghata and has the vision of Lord Veni-Madhava(Krishnajwill certainly attain the service of Lord Krishna's Lotus feet in his life-time.
KANA-KHALA GHATA—Varaha Purana describes this as a most secret tntha and very dear to Lord Krishna. One who takes his bath here will attain i destination millons of iimes higher than the heavenly planets. This place destroys all the wicked lusty desires in the heart. Kanakhala Tirtha resides here, constantly worshiping Lord Krishna. The holy Place of Rameswaram is also residing in the area of Kanakhala ghata. A deity of the name Rameswara is here which was established by Vajranabh 5,000 years ago.
TINDUKA GHATA—One who takes bath here is worshiped by the residents of Goloka and very quickly attains that topmost abode.
SURYA TIRTHA GHATA—It was here that Virochana ( the son of Prahlad Mabaraj ) would daily worship Surya ( sun-god ).
Samba, the son of Krishna, performed austerities at this ghata.
VATSWAMI GHATA—At this ghata there is a very old deity of the sun-god which dates back to the Satya-yuga. One who bathes on a Sunday here will attain all things and at last he will reach the supreme abode Goloka.
DHRUVA GHATA—When Dhruva Maharaj was chastised by his stepmother, he left to the forest to search out the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and at this place he met his guru Narada Muni, who, seeing his determination, instructed him in the science of self-realization. Later Dhruva Maharaj went to Madhuvan.
Very close to this ghata is Narada Tila, where Narada Muni performed austerities for some time-One who bathes at this ghata will attain Dhruvaloka.
R1SHI TIRTHA GHATA—Here the seven great rishis performed austerities to please Lord Krishna. Close to this ghata is Sapta ( seven ) Rishi Tila, where deities of the seven rishis are worshiped. These deities date back more then 5,000 years.
Anyone who bathes at this ghata will attain Goloka.
MOKSHA GHATA—Just by seeing the Yamuna at this spot one attains liberation.
KoTI TIRTHA GHATA—This is the last of the Mathura ghatas. Ohe who bathes here is even worshiped by the residents of Goloka, and very quickly one attains that supreme abode.
MATHURA DHAM KI JAY !
Now the Yamuna once again flows through internal forests of Braja to which not even Vaikuntha can be compared. After flowing along the border of Lohavan, where Krishna had killad the Lohajanga demon and also defeated Jarasandha eighteen times. Next she reaches RAVA—(RADHA GHATA)—This is the transcendental appearance place of Shrimati Radharani, Who advented on the eighth day of the bright half of Bhadra (August). When Vrasabhanu went to take his bath in the Yamuna, he saw a beautiful young girl standing on a lotus which was floating on the waves of the Yamuna. That young girl was Shrimati Radharani, the internal potency and eternal consert of Lord Krishna.
devi krishnamayi prokta
radhika para - devata sarva - laksmimayi sarva-
kantih sammohini para.
•'The transcendental goddess Shrimati Radharani is the direct counterpart of Lord Shri Krishna. She is the central figure for all the goddesses of fortune. She possesses all attraction to attact the all-attractive Personality of Godhead, She is the primeval potency of the Lord."
( Shri Chaitenya-chritamrta Madhya-lila, Ch. 23 : 68 )
Anyone who bathes here will attain the unlimited mercy of Shrimati Radharani and thus will be able to enter into the loving transcendental service of Lord Krishna.
KOLE GHATA—Naxt Yamuna flows through Mahavan ( Gokula ) where Lord Krishna performed His early childhood pastimes. At this ghata Vasudeva (Krishna's father), when bringing Lord Krishna from Mathura to put Him in the care of Nanda Maharaj, found that the waves of the Yamuna were very high and it was impossible to cross; but due to fear of Kamsa, Vasudeva attempted to cross the Yamuna anyway. The Yamuna being such a great devotee of Lord Krishna, was intent on touching the Lotusfeet of Krishna, Who was being carried in a basket on the head of Vasudeva. When Yamuna's transcendental waves went up to touch Krishna's Lotusfeet, Vasudeva, fearing that Krishna would be drowned, called out "koi le mere Jala ko" ( someone please take my son ). When Yamuna-devi saw Vasudeva's anxiety, she immediately made a passage for him to cross safely and reach Nanda Mabaraj's house. Anyone who bathes here will, by the grace of the Yamuna, easily find a passage through the material ocean of birth and death.
BRAHMAND GHATA—Once Krishna had been playing with His friends when He took some dirt and started to eat it. The boys called for mother Yasoda and told her that Krishna has eaten dirt. Krishna denied having eaten dirt and told His morher to look in His mouth and when mother Yosoda looked in His mouth she saw the whole universe ( Brahmand ) manifested there in the mouth of Lord Krishna.
Now Yamuna flows through CHINTAHARAN GHATA where all anxiety is destroyed, Next comes PARASURAM GHATA where Lord Parasuram performed a great fire-sacfi-fice after destroying the ksajriyas. Having left the inner circle oi Braja Dhania, the Yamuna, takes three large bends so as to be able to offer her obeisances to the twelve forests of Braja Dhama and carrying the dust of Braja which is capable of inundating the three worlds with Love of GOD Next Yamuna passes through AGRA and then she approaches the border of Braja Dham.
BATESVAR—This is the place where Lord Krishna's paternal grandfather Surasena had his capital, ShriJa Rupa-Goswami has describkd this as one of the border points of Braja Dhama. There are 108 Batesvara temples established by Vajranabha here. Batesvar is about tewenty-five miles from Firozabad. Now the Yamuna takes an eastern course, passing through Etawah, touching the border of Kanpur district, Kalpi, where some say Shrila Vyasadeva was born ( Shrila Vyasadeva is appearing again and again Kalpa after Kalpa; on a previous occasion Shrila Vyasadeva took his birth here ), After passing through Hamirpur and Fatehpur district, Yamuna reaches ALLAHABAD.
ALLAHABAD (PRAYAG )--Now the Yamuna has reached the end of her manifest journey some 860 miles from her starting point. Here at Prayag her waters mingle with those of the Ganga and Saraswati. The Sangam ( meeting ) place of these three Rivers is highly praised-in all the Vedic Scriptures. Anyone who bathes here will be liberated. Every twelve years the famous Kumbha mela takes place here and if one is fortunate enough to take his bath at that time, then he will attain Vaikuntha along with many of his ancestors.
Allahabad is decribed in Chaitnya-Charitamtta as follows.
"It is now the beginning of the month of Magha. If we go to Prayaga at this time, we shall have an opportunity to bathe for a few days during Makarasankranti."
Bathing during the month of Magha at Magha-mela still takes place. This has been a very old mela ( assembly ) from time immemorial. It is said that the Lord in the form of Mohini took a bucket of nactar and kept it at Prayaga. Consequently Magha-mela has been observed, and there is an assembly of holy men there every year. Every twelveth year there is a Kumbha-mela, a gre;.t festival, and all the holy men from all over India assemble there. The brahmana wanted to take advantage of the Magha-mela and bathe there.
Bathing at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna near the fort at Allahabad, Prayaga, is mentioned in revealed scriptures.
maghe masi gamisvanti
samyag dattam ca yat-pbalam
pray ge magha-mase vai
tryaham snatasya tat-phalam
"If one goes to Prayaga and
Yamuna in the month of Magha, he attains the result of giving hundreds and
thousands of cows in charity. Simply by bathing for three days there, he
attains the results of sucn a pious activity." Because of this, the Sanodiya brahmana
was very eager to go to Prayaga and bathe. Generally
karmis ( fruitive laborers ) take advantage of bathing there during the month
of Magha, thinking that they will be rewarded in the future. Tnose who are
situated in devotional service do not very strictly follow this
karma-kandiya process. (C.C, Madhya-lila 18:145)
Shri Chaitaya Mahaprabhu then went to Prayaga, where He bathed at the confluence of the Ganges and die Yamuna. He then visited the temple of Veni Madhaya and chanted and danced there in ecstatic love. ( This temple is at a distance of one mile from the confluence in Dariyagunj. )
The city of Prayaga is situated a few miles
from the city of Allahabad. The name "Prayaga is given due «to successful
sacrifices performed there. It is said: Prakrstah yagah yaga-phalam yasmat. If
one performs sacrifices at Prayaga, he certainly gets immediate results without
difficulty. Prayaga is also called Tirtharaja, the king of all paces-of
pilgrimage. This holy place in situated on the confluence of the Rivers Ganges
and Yamuna. Every year a fair takes place there known as Magha-me!a. * and
every twelve years a Kumbha-mela is also held in any case, many people come to
bathe there every year. During M?gha-mela people from the local district
generaliy come, and during Kumbha-mela people ccme from all over India to live
there and bathe in the Ganges and Yamuna. Whoever goes there immediately feels
the place's spiritual influence. A fort located there was constructed by the
Emperor Akbar about five hundred years ago and near the fort is a place called
Triveni. On the other side of Prayaga is an
old Place known
as Pratisthana-pura. It is
also well known as Jhunsi. Many saintly people live there, and
consequently it is very attractive from the spiritual point of
view. ( C. C madhya lila 17.149 )
Shri Yamuna Devi has mercifully decended into the material world solely to remind us of our eternal ralation-sbip with Radha and Krishna. Simply by bathing in her transcendental waters all of the impurities in the heart are washed away and Love of GOD is awakened, Yamuna Devi's waters are liquid prem (love) and if we pray to her, she will lovingly carry us to the Lotusfeet of Shri Shri -Radha-Krishna and engage us in Their eternal service.