Vrindavan

vanam vrindavanam naam pashvayam navkananam.
gopgopigavam sevyam punyaditraunvirudham.
– Srimad bhagwat 10/11/28

Vrindavan, located on the banks of river Yamuna,was a place of green woods and rolling meadows. It was home to Lord Krishna; where he is said to have herded his cows, danced with the Gopies,fought the evil Kansa and fallen in love with Radha.

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Vrindavan is a town in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India.
Vrindavan was discovered by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in 1515 and he established a temple of Lord Krishna.
Vaishnavism spread across Bengal very quickly and Nabadwip & Vrindavan became spiritual centres for his followers and all bengali Vaishnavites.

I had been to Vrindavan many a times. Everytime I visit this town,I remember about the stories my grandfather used to tell me in my childhood. I somehow have a faith in this town since then.

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Vrindavan is not very different to what it has been told in the books or stories. This town has many temples of
Lord Krishna and Radha. People from all over world come here being the place where Lord Krishna has spent his childhood.

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For months, I got to talk to the local people in Vrindavan.
From Widows to Young Married Women, from Young girls to Small school going kids.
It was in all a very different experience from going there just as a devotee.

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On every visit during those months, it made me ask myself so many questions about relationships.
I started finding out the truth behind my relationships.
I will not be wrong if I say Vrindavan made me realize the actual meaning of a relationship and these were those people who helped me in that realization :

  • A young girl,studying in college who loves her family and doing a part- time job so that she can contribute in family and help her father.
  • A widow, who has accepted Vrindavan as her heaven. She was sent here by her son,who can’t afford to keep her.
  • A divorced lady,who is living with her parents in Vrindavan and working in a Ashram. She doesn’t want to get marry again for her father’s respect in society.
  • A Sikh widow, came to Vrindavan after both of her son got married. She is happy here in a ashram and keep going home to meet her children.
  • A happy singing lady who chants Krishna- Krishna for getting Moksha. According to her,every happiness is in the name of Lord. She said to me :
    bhajan tou yahi hai, kuch nahi karo bhajan karo,
    khao piyo mast raho,kuch karo bhajan karo,
    chalte raho bhajan karo,khate raho bhajan karo,
    nahate raho,bhajan karo, Radhe Radhe karte raho.
  • A small boy who work with his father after school to sail boat in river Yamuna.

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Some of them are living here because their family is here.Some because their work is here and some of them are living here just because they want to chant Lord Krishna.

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One temple which I have never seen before was ‘ Kadambari’ temple. It was a small temple in a house with two courtyard. The first one has a big Kadam tree and a well. The second has the temple of Lord Ram. It was the most peaceful temple I have ever seen.

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Vrindavan has now become a commercial place. Guides will not leave you if you are new in the city. No one knows the true history of the town but will make you question the facts you know about the town.

I read Bhagwat Gita and books related to Vrindavan during that time and found out that the general story which these guides tell are all fake.

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I still meet these people whenever I go to Vrindavan. Their simplicity makes me feel a bond with them,just by knowing their story.

While working on this project during those months, I made some Handbound Notebooks and Blockprinted Scarves for a fund raising campaign for the project.

IMG-20130211-WA006the final notebook for the contributors

DSC08927with the postcard posted from Vrindavan

DSC09501 My notes from Vrindavan in this notebook

DSC09212Another sample

DSC07151Block printed Cotton Scarf

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