Sri Vraja-mandala Parikrama 2022
All Glories to Sri Sri Guru & Gauranga!
Invitation + Schedules
To fulfill the wish of our beloved guide and well-wisher nitya-lila om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayaṇa Gosvami Maharaja, we cordially invite you to Sri Vrndavana Dhama for Sri Vraja-mandala Parikrama this Kartika, 2022!
Sri Vraja-mandala parikrama was inaugurated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada re-established it in October 1932, and one of his dear disciples Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja sustained it in the decades that followed. Our beloved spiritual master, om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, has been guiding pilgrims on this parikrama since 1954, thus fulfilling the inner heart’s desire of all the acaryas in our line.
The Western world was introduced to Sri Vraja-mandala parikrama by the causeless mercy of Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, who founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in July 1966 and spread the teachings of Sriman Mahaprabhu to every corner of the globe! Over the past 25 years, Western devotees have gained further appreciation of Sri Vraja-dhama by the Grace of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja whose guidance and vani emphasizes deeply entering Srila Rupa Gosvami’s teachings on bhakti.
In a class on October 28, 2002, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Maharaja explained about the significance of this Kartika month and Damodara vrata. He said of this month known as the month of Damodara; that Damodara is He whose belly was bound by the rope of Mother Yasoda. He was not actually bound by a rope, however; He was bound by prema, by pure vatsalya-bhava (parental love). Krishna is anadi; He has no beginning. And He is ananta; He has no end. Still, although He is Parambrahma, that unlimited beginningless & endless Supreme Lord can be bound and controlled only by prema. Therefore this month is called Damodara vrata, and those who observe it will attain the prema by which they can bind Parambrahma, the Supreme Lord. Those who can observe this vrata are very fortunate.
This month is also called Urja vrata. Urja means shakti, and it specifically refers to Krishna's internal potency, antaranga shakti – Srimati Radhika. Urja-vrata actually means Radha-vrata, a vow taken for the happiness of Srimati Radhika. If one hears Her glorification in this month, the fruit will come in the form of gopi-prema.
Another name of this auspicious month is Kartika. The adhistatri-devata, predominating deity, of Kartika month is Kirtika-kumari, the young daughter of Kirtika, Srimati Radhika. Those who honor this month, of which Radhika is the predominating deity, by going to the pastime places of Radha and Krishna, will certainly without any doubt at all, have all their desires completely fulfilled. They will attain Yugala-seva, service of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna in the anugatya (guidance) of the Vraja gopis.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja’s hearts desire and great pleasure is that during Sri Vraja-mandala and Sri Navadvipa-dhama parikrama devotees from all over the world come together as a loving family and become immersed in sweet hari-katha, remembering the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Krsna and Sri Gaura Nityananda Prabhu. This month-long immersion offers the opportunity of visiting and hearing about all of Krsna’s transcendental pastime places in Vraja, of deepening our realization through hearing Vaisnavas’ recollections of the philosophical conclusions of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, of performing kirtana morning, noon and night, and of being in the company of sincere devotees from around the world.
Vraja-mandala Parikrama 2022 begins on 9 Oct and ends on 8 Nov. In order to better facilitate the large number of visiting devotees, two different parikrama parties are being organized. One party will be lead by members of Srila Gurudeva’s International Gaudiya Vedanta Trust (IGVT), with Srila BV Vana Maharaja, Srila BV Sridhar Maharaja, Srila BV Siddhanti Maharaja, Sriman Ramacandra prabhu, Srimati Uma didi and other senior devotees guiding the parikrama. The other parikrama will be lead by our Srila Gurudeva’s Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti Trust (GVST), guided by Srila BV Madhava Maharaja, Srila BV Govinda Maharaja, Srila BV Narasimha Maharaja, Srila BV Bharati Maharaja and other senior devotees. In this way managerial practicalities such as arrangements for accommodation, cooking, distribution of prasadam, transportation to the pastime places and language preferences are simplified.
Both parikramas will start from Vrindavan and continue in Govardhan simultaneously, thus giving you plenty opportunity to visit the beautiful pastime places, be in wonderful association, fill your ears with nectarean Hari-katha from all the illustrious Vaisnavas and roll in the dust of Sri Vrindavan dham. The schedules, location and contact details are posted below.
You, your family and friends are all warmly invited for this month long parikrama of Sri Vraja-mandala! Let’s join our hands together to make this Sri Vraja Mandala Parikrama in Kartik month of 2022 a great success, and thus fulfill the hearts’ desires of our Sri Guru-varga.
“I worship that supreme abode of Svetadvipa, where the Supreme Personality Vrajendra-nandana Sri Krsna is the only lover; where His svarupa-bhuta vraja-gopis, the embodiment of all Lakmis, are the beloveds; where every tree and creeper is a transcendental desire-tree; where the earth is made of spiritual touchstone and the water is nectar; where speech is like melodious song and movements are like dance; where the flute is the dear female companion; where light is full of knowledge and bliss; where each and every supreme, transcendental object is all tasty and delectable; where great divine oceans of milk continually flow from the udders of uncountable surabhi cows; and where transcendental time is eternal, without past and future, so that even half a moment never slips away. In this material world, only rare, saintly personalities behold this abode as Goloka, and only those who are the objects of Gokulapati Sri Krsna’s mercy can understand the nature of this abode.” Brahma-samhita (5.56)
“Think of Vrndavana with love, roll in the dust of Vrndavana, offer your entire body to the service of Vrndavana and thus develop firm love for Vrndavana, worship the birthplace of Srimati Radharani, and satisfy the moving and non-moving living entities who reside in Vrndavana. In this way take shelter of Vrndavana, the best of all holy places.” (Sri Vrindavan-mahimamrita)
(click on image for slideshow)