Vrindavan, 2017.12.05 (VT): Across the Yamuna River from Vrindavan, about five kilometers across an ocean of green fields, lies Belvan. This is the place where Goddess Lakshmi performs tapasya to attain Shri Krishna in Vrindavan.
Five thousand years ago, Belvan was a forest of bilva trees. Shri Krishna and Balram used to come to come here to eat the delicious bilva fruits.
Thoughout the month of Paush (December to January) a fair – the Belvan Mela – is celebrated here each year. Devotees gather in the temple to worship Goddess Lakshmi and to feed her khichri, in order to keep her warm and healthy through the winter’s bitter cold. Devotees from all over Braj attend the festival.
The Story of Lakshmi at Belvan
Once the goddess Lakshmi heard about Shri Krishna’s Raas Lila from Sage Narad. After hearing the story from him, she wanted desperately to be a part of it. She decided to go to Vrindavan, but she was unable to even cross the Yamuna river and enter there. And so she stayed in nearby Belvan, doing tapasya with the hope of someday attaining Krishna in Vrindavan.
The saints of Vrindavan say that Shri Krishna and his Raas Lila can only be attained by taking shelter of the gopis and following in their footsteps. He cannot be attained by mere tapasya.
Lakshmi didn’t follow the path of the gopis. The gopis did simple chores like milking cows, churning butter, picking up cowdung and making patties from it. She didn’t know that the gopis are the emobdiments of perfect love, and Radharani is the Queen of them all. Lakshmi did not take shelter of Radharani. And so she was never able to enter Vrindavan.
In the Shrimad Bhagwatam, after Shri Krishna defeated the poisonous serpent Kaliya, Kaliya’s wives said, “What good deeds did our husband do? He received the dust of your lotus feet, which Lakshmi could not get even after doing tapasya for thousands of years!”
In addition to the Lakshmi temple, Belvan has a sacred lake called Krishna Kund and a baithak of Shri Vallabhacharya.