PERFORMING PARIKRAMA

 

BParikrama means "the path surrounding something" in Sanskrit, , representing circumambulation. the word parikrama is mostly used in the context of religious deities in a temple, sacred rivers, sacred hills and a close cluster of temples, and "doing a parikrama" as a symbol of prayer is an integral part of Hindu worship.

 

 

Goverdhan Parikrama

 

Krishna protected the inhabitants of Vraj Vridavan from the wrath of Indra, he counseled them to worship Govardhana hill and they did by way of a Puja (worship) and a Parikrama (circumambulation) around the hill.Thus, a festival in commemoration of the lifting of Mount Govardhan, near Mathura, by Krina came into vogue as 'Govardhan Puja' when Mount Govardhan is worshipped, the day after Deepawali (festival of lights) is celebrated. Govardana Parikrama [circumambulation — going 21 kilometres (13 mi) around the hill] is a sacred ritual performed by many believers as spiritual purification. There is no time limit for performing this Parikrama, but for those who perform the dandavata (full prostration) Parikrama, an arduous form which may take weeks and sometimes even months to complete. Dandavata Parikrama is performed by standing in one spot, offering obeisances like a stick (danda) by lying flat on the ground and then continuing, contiguously, till the entire route is covered. It is also said that some sadhus (Hindu holy men) perform 108 obeisances in one spot before moving to the next. This can take a number of months to complete.

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Vrindavan Parikrama

 

Vrindavan Parikrama is a spiritual walk undertaken by devotees around Vrindavan town in Uttar Pradesh. It has no particular start or end place. As long as you end at the same place you start, the purpose is served. One possible path is to start from the famous ISKCON temple, covers a distance of 10 km (6.2 mi)in about three hours. It is generally done on Ekadasi (eleventh lunar day of the waxing and waning of Moon). The route followed is from ISKCON temple, walk close to the Krishna Balarama Temple, the Krishna-Balarama tree, Gautam Rishi's Ashrama (located on the left while on the right is Varaha Ghata), the Kaliya Ghata, Madana Mohana Temple with red sandstone tower, small wooden bridge, to Imli Tala, the Imli Tala tree, Sringara Vata (on the right), the Kesi Ghat (one of the famous Monuments in Vrindavan), the Tekari Rani temple, the Jagannatha temple and the small temple of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and in the final stretch cross the Mathura-Vrindavan road. After crossing this road, after another 1 km walking, reach the starting point of the Parikrama. During the Parikrama, one chants the mantras within, uses body power (Tap) to accomplish the Parikrama and keeps a fast (not eat anything) till the Parikrama is completed.

 

 

Braj Mandal Parikrama ( 84 kosh Parikrama)

 

It follows the same route taken by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu during his visit to Vrindavan. Devotees achieve full experience of twelve forests of Braj, over a period of one month and visit holy tirthas (pilgrimage centres) of Braj (also spelt Brajbhumi). It comprises twelve forests, known as vans, and twenty-four groves, known as upavans. The twelve forests are Madhuvan, Talavan, Kumudvan, Bahulavan, Kamavan, Khadiravan, Vrindavan, Bhadravan, Bhandiravan, Belvan, Lohavan, and Mahavan. The twenty-four groves are Gokul, Govardhan, Barsana, Nandagram, Sanket, Paramadra, Aring, Sessai, Mat, Uchagram, Kelvan, Sri Kund, Gandharvavan, Parsoli, Bilchhu, Bacchavan, Adibadri, Karahla, Ajnokh, Pisaya, Kokilavan, Dadhigram, Kotvan, and Raval all of which are stated to share in Lord Krishna’s absolute nature. Normally devotees do this parikrama in large group and by taking many rest along the journey.