Vrindavan (forest of Vrinda) has an ancient past, associated with Hindu history, and is an important Hindu pilgrimage site. One of its oldest surviving temples is the Govinda Deva temple, built in 1590. The essence of Vrindavan was lost over time until the 16th century, when it was rediscovered by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the year 1515, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavana, with the purpose of locating the lost holy places associated with Lord Sri Krishna’s transcendent pastimes.
Surya, the Sun, gives life potency to the living entities. Because of its connection with Surya, Makhara-sankranti is very auspicious. On that day, almost everyone with any connection to Vedic or Indian culture takes bath, either in the Godavari, Jamuna, Ganges, or in any other river, or in the ocean. This takes place especially in India, but it also goes on to some extent around the world. On this day it is auspicious to give donations to others.
purodhasāḿ ca mukhyaḿ māḿ
viddhi pārtha bṛhaspatim
senānīnām ahaḿ skandaḥ
sarasām asmi sāgaraḥ
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 10.24
Of priests, O Arjuna, know Me to be the chief, Brihaspati. Of generals I am Kartikeya, and of bodies of water I am the ocean.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Indra is the chief demigod of the heavenly planets and is known as the king of the heavens. The planet on which he reigns is called Indraloka. Brihaspati is Indra’s priest, and since Indra is the chief of all kings, Brihaspati is the chief of all priests. And as Indra is the chief of all kings, similarly Skanda, or Kartikeya, the son of Parvati and Lord Shiva, is the chief of all military commanders. And of all bodies of water, the ocean is the greatest. These representations of Krishna only give hints of His greatness.
In Hinduism, the river Ganga is considered sacred and is personified as a goddess Ganga. It is worshipped by Hindus who believe that bathing in the river causes the remission of sins and facilitates Moksha (liberation from the cycle of life and death) the water of Ganga is considered very pure. Pilgrims immerse the ashes of their kin in the Ganges, which is considered by them to bring the spirits closer to moksha.
Vraj Mandala Parikrama with Srila BV Narayana Maharaja
The place we have now arrived at is full of spiritual mysteries. It is a very unique and confidential location. Uddhava wanted to come to this place but he became so perplexed that he lost his way. When Krishna had gone to Mathura after being taken away by Akrura, the gopis spent months together in this place we are now. They did not eat or sleep or bathe or change their clothes, they were completely oblivious to all material considerations. They would not even return home to their families. They just laid around here totally shattered in utter despair. If there is any place in Vraja that could symbolize the most intense mood of separation, then this place is it. This place where we now stand within the boundaries of Nandagram exemplifies the highest mood of love in separation.
Ratha Yatra (Ratha Jatra or Chariot Festival) is a Hindu festival associated with the god Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Odisha, India. This annual festival is celebrated on Ashadha Shukla Dwitiya (second day in bright fortnight of Ashadha month).
The festival commemorates Jagannath’s annual visit to Gundicha Temple via Mausi Maa Temple (aunt’s home) near Balagandi Chaka, Puri.
As part of Ratha Yatra, the deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are taken out in a procession to Gundicha Temple and remain there for nine days. Then the deities or Ratha Yatra return to the Main temple.
(Hindi: रथ यात्रा; Ratha bedeutet Kutsche, Wagen, Rad; Yātrā wörtl. Pilgerreise) ist ein hinduistisches Wagenfest, auf dessen Höhepunkt die Vaishnavas einen Prozessionswagen mit Jagannath (dem Herrn des Universums) an Seilen durch die Stadt ziehen. Jagannath ist ein Aspekt von Krishna.