Vrindavan 2016.09.02 (VT): A Braj 84 Kos parikrama started from the old Madan Mohan temple yesterday under the leadership of Mahant Shri Deen Bandhu Das, in which around 100 devotees participated. A yatra was also initiated from the ashram of Dhananjay Das Kathiya Baba two days back. Many acharyas along with their supporters are also joining the Braj parikrama yatra.
Braj 84 kos yatra is an centuries-old tradition, which has been followed from the time of Lord Krishna. Every year thousand of devotees visit Braj under the guidance of their priests to take part in this sacred activity. During the parikrama, these devotees visit places related to the pastimes of Radha and Krishna and try to reconnect themselves to the Godhead.
It a common belief in Braj that during the four months of Sawan, Bhado, Ashwin and Kartik, all the sacred places visit the Braj region. During this time, if any ÿevotee does the Braj parikrama, all his desires get fulfilled.
As per the tradition, Braj 84 Kos Parikrama is supposed to start from the month of Bhado and run till Kartik month of Hindu calendar. However these days, the acharyas of different ashrams, temples and institutions have started scheduling Parikramas according to their preference and priorities. People have even started doing this yatra in buses and other vehicles unlike earlier days when it was all done walking barefoot.
In a complete Parikrama of the the 84 Kos, devotees visit 360 kunds, the 12 main forests and 24 smaller forests (upavan), 8 lakes, 8 swings and 8 Dauji temples.
Nowadays people start from different places, and different sampradayas have their own rules, but generally speaking the Yatra would pass from Mathura and then follow the Parikrama Marg through Madhuvan, Talvan, Kumud Van, Shantan Kund, Bahulavan, Radha Kund, Kusum Sarovar, Chandra Sarovar, Jatipura, Deeg, Paramdara, Kamvan, Barsana, Nandgaon, Kokila Van, Jaav, Kot Van, Paigam, Shergarh, Bachhavan, Vrindavan, Mahavan, Lohvan, Shri Dauji and Gokul. Most yatras generally start either from Mathura or Barsana or Vrindavan.
They can also be of various sizes, from individuals going on their own to huge assemblies of several thousand pilgrims.
There are actually two Parikrama Margs. One really circles the entire 84 kos and does not go to the various holy places for darshan. The other path winds in and out of these different holy spots. Those who go by bus only visit the main places and have a much shortened schedule.
Devotees take rest at night also at these places, where the yatra’s sponsors arrange for the pilgrims’ meals and bed, and the Acharya or Tirth Purohit (head priest leading the yatra) tell the pastimes of these places related to Radha and Krishna. If devotees walk to all the main 24 places during the yatra, it should be completed in 40 days.
Lord Krishna called all Tirthas to Braj
Braj 84 Kos Parikrama has its own spiritual value related to Lord Krishna. Once Nand Baba and Yashoda Maiya said to Krishna to take them to all the tirthas (sacred places) to which Lord replied that they need not to go to any place. Later on Lord called all the tirthas (as their personified souls) and asked them to take their respective place, which is now under the boundaries of Braj 84 Kos Parikrama. Many of these places are associated with the pastimes of Radha and Krishna.