miércoles, 21 de octubre de 2009

Mathura Darshan: Ghats of Yamuna

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This is first of the series of Vraja mandal Parikrama 2009 videos. Footage taken 20 Sept. 2009 when devotees from Sri Keshavji Gaudiya Math led by Sripad BV Tirtha Maharaj started Mathura Parikrama. In this video our parikrama party took us into Holi gate towards Vishram Ghat where we did Sankalpa (vow to do Parikrama) and puja to Yamuna devi. Then we proceeded to Pipalishwar Mahadev, Prayag Tirtha Ghat, Shyam Ghat, Ram Ghat, Kankhali Tirtha then to Bengali Ghat.

The Yamunās Twenty-four Ghāṭas (from Sri Vraja Mandal Parikrama book by Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayan Goswami Maharaj)

In Mathurā, Śrī Yamunā flows in a crescent shape. Viśrāma Ghāṭa is situated in the centre. On her southern side lie the following twelve ghāṭas:

(1) Avimukta Tīrtha,
(2) Guhya Tīrtha,
(3) Prayāga Tīrtha,
(4) Kankhala Tīrtha,
(5) Tinduka Tīrtha,
(6) Sūrya Tīrtha,
(7) Baṭa Svāmī Tīrtha,
(8) Dhruva Tīrtha,
(9) Ṛṣi Tīrtha,
(10) Mokṣa Tīrtha,
(11) Koṭi Tīrtha and
(12) Bodhi Tīrtha.

The following twelve ghāṭas lie on her northern side:

(13) Nava Tīrtha (Asī Tīrtha),
(14) Saṁyamana Tīrtha,
(15) Dhārāpattana Tīrtha,
(16) Nāga Tīrtha,
(17) Ghaṇṭā-Bharaṇaka Tīrtha,
(18) Brahma Tīrtha,
(19) Soma Tīrtha,
(20) Sarasvatī-Patana Tīrtha,
(21) Cakra Tīrtha,
(22) Dasāśvamedha Tīrtha,
(23) Vighnarāja Tīrtha and
(24) Koṭī Tīrtha.

All the principal tīrthas of India, even Tīrtharāja Prayāga, worship Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa on the banks of Śrī Yamunā Mahārānī, and do so under her shelter. Especially during Cāturmāsya, these tīrthas all come here to perform their worship.

1. Avimukta Tīrtha

Here, Kāśī Viśvanātha Mahādeva himself performs ārādhana of Bhagavān. Those who take bath in this tīrtha or who leave their body here very easily become free from material existence and reach the dhāma of Bhagavān.

2. Guhya Tīrtha

By taking bath here one is liberated from the cycle of birth and death and attains bhagavat-loka, the planet of Bhagavān.

3. Prayāga Tīrtha

Tīrtharāja Prayāga, the king of the tīrthas, worships Bhagavān here. Veṇī Mādhava of Prayāga is eternally present at this place. Those who take bath here receive the result of performing all the yajñas headed by the agniṣṭoma-yajña and attain Vaikuṇṭha Dhāma.

4. Kankhala Tīrtha

Mahādeva and Pārvatī are always devotedly worshipping Śrī Hari at this tīrtha. Just as Mahādeva Śaṅkara bestowed mercy upon Prajāpati Dakṣa and liberated him from material existence, so one who bathes at this tīrtha will attain Brahma-loka.

5. Tinduka Tīrtha

This tīrtha is also named Guhya Tīrtha. By taking bath here one attains bhagavad dhāma, the abode of Bhagavān. Nearby is Daṇḍī Ghāṭa, where Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took bath and captivated everyone by His dancing and saṅkīrtana. Nowadays, this ghāṭa is also called Bengālī Ghāṭa.

To read more, you can download the book from the books section in www.purebhakti.com

Pīpaleśvara Mahādeva

Situated near Viśrāma Ghāṭa, on the eastern side of Mathurā Purī, Pīpaleśvara Mahādeva always protects Mathurā Kṣetra. He is one of Mathurās four kṣetra-pālas (area-protectors). Thereafter, one can have darśana of Veṇī Mādhava, Rāmeśvara, Dāūjī, Madana-Mohana, Tinduka Tīrtha, Sūrya Ghāṭa and Dhruva Ṭīlā. Then, on Sapta-ṛṣi Ṭīlā one can have the sacred darśana of Atri, Marīci, Kratu, Aṅgīrā, Gautama, Vaśiṣṭha and Pulastya Ṛṣi. These seven (sapta) ṛṣis reside in Mathurā Dhāma at this place, performing their worship of Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

25 Tirthas & Ghats Along the Yamuna

There are 25 holy tirthas (bathing places or ghats) in Mathura. Visrama Ghata is in the middle and there are 12 ghats south of Visrama Ghata and 12 ghats north. The 12 ghats in the north go up to Dasasvamedha Ghata and the 12 ghats in the south extend to Moksa Ghata.

Some pilgrims take bath in all 25 tirthas before beginning Braja Mandala parikrama. Lord Caitanya and Prabhu Nityananda both took bath in all these ghats before doing Their parikrama of Braja Mandala. There is an interesting road, south of Visrama Ghata, that runs along the Yamuna, in the area where these ghats are located. Many people visit this area.

These holy tirthas are mostly located about 400m south of Visrama Ghata and 400m north of Visrama Ghata, almost right next to each other. Many of the ghats are known now by different names and are difficult, if not impossible to find. Asi Ghata, Prayag Ghata, Chakra Tirtha Ghata, Krishna Ganga, Dhruva Ghata and Visrama Ghata are still known by the same names.

The 25 important tirthas or bathing places that are mentioned in the scriptures are:

(1) Avimukta,

(2) Adhirudha,

(3) Guhya-tirtha,

(4) Prayaga-tirtha,

(5) Kanakhala,

(6) Tinduka-tirtha,

(7) Surya-tirtha,

(8) Vatasvami,

(9) Dhruva Ghata,

(10) Rishi-tirtha,

(11) Moksa-tirtha,

(12) Budha-tirtha,

(13) Gokarna,

(14) Krishna Ganga,

(15) Vaikuntha,

(16) Asi Kunda,

(17) Catuh-samudrika-kupa,

(18) Akrura Ghata,

(19) Yajnika-vipra-sthana,

(20) Kubja-kupa,

(21) Ranga-sthala,

(22) Mancha-sthala,

(23) Mallayuddha-sthana,

(24) Dasasvamedha Ghata, and

(25) Visrama Ghata.

Tirthas (Ghats) South of Visrama Ghata

In the Adi Varaha Purana it is stated that just by thinking of these tirthas (holy places), all one’s sins vanish and by listening to how great they are, all wishes are attained. The results mentioned in this section are stated in the Adi Varaha Purana, unless otherwise stated. Vishnuloka is the abode of Lord Vishnu.

At the present time, it may by difficult to figure out exactly where each of these ghats are located. This is because the names have changed over the years and many of them are situated right next to each other.

1. Avimukta-tirtha - In the Adi Varaha Purana it says that one who bathes here is liberated and one who dies here will go to Vishnuloka.

2. Guhya-tirtha - In the Adi Varaha Purana it says that one who bathes at this place will be liberated and go to Vishnuloka. He will also be able to understand all the guhyas (secrets) of the Vedas. This ghata at the present time is known as Sati Ghata, because of the fact that the red sandstone tower above the ghata is known as Sati Buri. It was built in honor of the sati performed by the queen of Bihar Mal (died 1574) by his son Bhagwandas of Jaipur.

3. Prayaga-tirtha - At this ghata, Tirtharaja (Prayag, king of the tirthas) is situated. One who bathes here gets thousands of times the benefit of bathing in the Triveni (the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna, and Sarasvati Rivers). It is said that at one time that Prayag became angry when the goddess of Mathura did not show up for the yajna (sacrifice) he was performing. He tried to start a war with the goddess of Mathura, but was told by Krishna that although he was Tirtha-raja, or the king of all the holy places, he should never try to dominate over Mathura, because it is His abode. Prayag then performed penance at Prayag Ghata. He also left his sword (asi) at Asi Kunda Ghata.

In the Saura Purana and Adi Varaha Purana it says that one who bathes here gets the benefit of performing an agnistoma-yajna. The Pippalaswar Siva Temple is located next to Prayag Ghat.
Next to this ghata is the Veni-Madhava Temple. This Deity is said to have been established by Vajranabha, the great grandson of Krishna.
This ghata is about 150m south of Visrama Ghata. Most people in the area know where this place is located.

4. Kanakhala-tirtha - One who bathes here attains heavenly happiness. The holy place of Rameswaram resides here. There is a deity named Rameswara here, which is said to have been established by Vajranabha. It is said that if one takes bath here, they will get the benefit of bathing at Kankhal, near Haridwar, where Siva’s wife Sati left her body.

5. Tinduka-tirtha - By bathing here one is promoted to Vishnuloka. One who bathes here is worshiped by the residents of Gokula and attains to the highest abode. This Ghata is commonly known as Bengali Ghata or Govinda Ghata. According to the Varaha Purana this ghata is named after a barber named Tinduka who came to Mathura after his family died, and after regularly bathing in this ghat was reborn as a Brahmin.

6. Surya-tirtha – There is a temple dedicated to Surya, the Sun-god. In the Adi Varaha Purana it says that Bali, the son of Virochana and grandson of Prahlada Maharaja, worshiped Surya (the sun god) here to acquire wealth, when he was banished from his kingdom. He performed austerities here with his arms raised and did not take any food.

Samba, the son of Krishna, is also said to have worshiped the sun god here to be cured of leprosy. This place destroys all sins and if one gives up his life at this place he attains the spiritual world. In the Adi Varaha Purana it says that one who bathes here during a solar or lunar eclipse, on Sankranti, or on Sunday will get the benefit of performing a rajasuya-yajna.

7. Vatasvami-tirtha - There is an ancient deity of the sun god here that is said to date back to Satya Yuga. In the Saura Purana it says that if one serves this place on a Sunday, they will gain wealth, recover from disease, and attain the ultimate goal of life after death.

8. Dhruva Ghata - It is said that Dhruva Maharaja did austerities here. It is also said that Dhruva was instructed by Narada Muni at this place.

In the Adi Varaha Purana it says that if one bathes here they will be promoted to Dhruvaloka. If one performs the sraddha ceremony here, especially during Pitripaksa, this guarantees that the ancestors on his father’s side will receive liberation. Pitripaksa is the dark fortnight in the month of Asvina (Sept-Oct). In the Skanda Purana it says that if one does the sraddha ceremony at Dhruva-tirtha, especially during the dark half of the month of Ashwin, it will give 100 times the results of performing the same activity at Gaya. Also if one performs japa, tapasya, dana, puja, or homa at this tirtha they will receive 100 times the results of performing the same activity at any other holy place.

Close to this ghata is Narada-tila, which is where Narada Muni is said to have performed austerities. At this place is a cremation ground.

9. Rishi-tirtha - At this place it is said that the seven great rishis did austerities to please Lord Krishna. The seven rishis live on the planet of Sapta-Rishi-loka and their names are: Vasistha, Atri, Marichi, Pulasta, Pulaha, Angiras and Kratu. There are deities of the seven great rishis close to this ghata. These deities are said to be over 5,000 years old. In the Skanda Purana, Mathura-khanda and Adi Varaha Purana it states that if one bathes here they will go to Vishnuloka and get pure devotion to Krishna. They also attain the world of the rishis. This place is also known as Sapta-rishi Ghata.

10. Moksa-tirtha - Bathing here guarantees liberation.

11. Koti-tirtha - If one bathes here and gives charity, one becomes worshipable in Vishnuloka. He gets the benefit of bathing in koti (millions) of tirthas and giving in charity koti (millions) of cows. If one performs the sraddha ceremony here, this liberates all his ancestors.

12. Bodhi-tirtha - The holy place of Gaya stays here. One who does sraddha (an offering to the forefathers) here gets 100 times the benefit of doing the same activity in Gaya. There is a bodhi tree (pipal), which is considered to be non-different than the tree that Buddha mediated under in Bodh-gaya, where he became the Buddha. By bathing here one attains Pitriloka. It is said that Ravana performed austerities here to get control of the three worlds.

Tirthas (Ghats) North of Visrama Ghata

1. Dvadasa-tirtha - By remembering this place, one is freed from all sins.

2. Nava-tirtha - In the Adi Varaha Purana it is stated that there is no higher tirtha (holy place) than Nava-tirtha. Asi Kunda is in the middle of the Yamuna, near Nava-tirtha. It is said in the Adi Varaha Purana that Asi Kunda is the most important holy place in Mathura. One who bathes in Asi Kunda, on the Dvadasi day, becomes eligible for liberation. People know this place at Asi Ghata.

In the Varaha Purana it is said that Varaha came here to defeat a king named Vimati, who had made a vow to destroy all the sacred places because his father had died by overstraining himself by going to many places of pilgrimages. When Varaha killed the king, His sword (asi) stuck into the ground and when He pulled it out, this kunda appeared. Varaha stated that he would be present at this place on the 12th and 14th lunar days, and that the pilgrimage of Mathura should begin at Asi Ghata. At this place is a modern temple with a Deity of Varaha and one of Ganesh.

3. Samyamana-tirtha - It is said that Krishna bathed in this ghata after He killed Kamsa. Swayambhu Muni is said to have had his ashrama here. By bathing here one does not go to the realm of Yamaraja, but attains Vishnuloka. At the present time this ghata is known as Swami Ghata. Above this ghata are the Govardhananath, Bihari and Gana temples.

4. Dharapatanaka-tirtha - If one dies here, they attain Vishnuloka. Just above this ghata is Kamsa Tila, where Kamsa is said to have lived. There is an ancient fort here. The story of this ghata is that a low-caste Nishada man and woman fell in the Yamuna and drowned. They were then reborn as the King and Queen of Saurashtra, because of having died in the Yamuna. This story is told in the Mathura Mahatmya.

5. Naga-tirtha - It is the best of all tirthas. If one bathes here one attains heaven and by dying here one if freed from rebirth.

6. Ghantabharana-tirtha - If one bathes here their sins are destroyed and they are worshiped on Suryaloka. During Caturmasya, the four months of the rainy season, Lord Vishnu sleeps. At this time people stop their traveling. Also all fire sacrifices are stopped (including marriages and name-giving). On the tenth day of the bright fortnight in Kartika (Oct-Nov), just before the Brahma-muhurta (1½ hours before sunrise) of the 11th day, a large (ghanta) bell is rung to wake Lord Vishnu, Who is sleeping at Visrama Ghata.

7. Brahma-tirtha - Lord Brahma did austerities here for 1,000 years. If one bathes here they will go to Vishnuloka.

8. Soma Tirtha Ghata - This place is dear to Soma (the Moon-god). If one bathes here he will get the happiness of living on Somaloka. People know this place as Krishna Ganga Ghata. This ghata is about 150m north of Visrama Ghata. There is a large tree next to this ghata.

At this place, in the middle of the Yamuna, is Krishna Ganga. It is called Krishna Ganga, because Krishna manifested the Ganges (Jahnavi) here. The Yamuna and Ganges meet at this spot. The Ganges (Jahnavi) cannot be seen now.

It is stated in the Adi Varaha Purana that the same benefit that is received by bathing in all the other holy places on earth can be attained by bathing in five places on very auspicious days. They are bathing at Prayaga on Caturdasi, Pushkar on the new or full moon nights in the month of Kartik, Naimisaranya on Trayodasi, Saukara on Dvadasi and Visrama Ghata on an Ekadasi day. It also says that by bathing in Krishna Ganga you get ten times greater benefit than by taking bath at these places. One who bathes here is freed from all sins, even the killing of a brahmana.

There used to be an island in the middle of the Yamuna here. It is said that Vyasadeva was born on this island from Parasara Muni and Satyavatya. Because he was born on an island (dvipa), he got the name Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa. In the Adi Varaha Purana it says that he lived here for 12 years doing austerities of eating once every two weeks on the full and new moon days. At this time he would just eat fruit. It is said that he wrote the Srimad Bhagavatam here.

9. Sarasvati Tirtha - At this place the Yamuna and Sarasvati rivers meet. One who bathes here will receive the qualities of a sannyasi. The Sarasvati is a stream that meets the Yamuna at this place. There is a Vamana Temple here next to the bridge that crosses the stream here. It is highly recommended to worship Vamana at this place. According to the Varaha Purana five ghosts (pishaca) were liberated at this place.

10. Chakra Tirtha Ghata - Lord Krishna’s Sudarsana Cakra is here. This is said to be the place where Ambarish performed his sacrifice and was offended by Durvasa Muni. When Durvasa Muni offended Ambarish Maharaja, the Sudarsana Cakra chased him everywhere in the universe, until he surrendered at the feet of Ambarish Maharaja. The Sudarsana Cakra stayed here so he could protect Ambarish Maharaja and be in Mathura, close to the Yamuna. One becomes free of killing a brahmana by bathing here and fasting for a full day and night. This place is north of Kamsa Tila Fort. It is difficult to reach by walking along the Yamuna.

Durvasa Muni had his ashrama on the other side of the Yamuna, nearby in Isapur. There is a temple there dedicated to Durvasa Muni.

11. Dasasvamedha Ghata - In the Adi Varaha Purana it says that if one bathes here, he enjoys the pleasures of heaven. In the past, a great asvamedha yajna (horse sacrifice) was performed here, to glorify Krishna. If one bathes in this ghata, he gets the results of doing ten asvamedha yajnas.

12. Vignaraja Ghata - Vignaraja is a name of Ganesh, and this ghat is also called Ganesh Ghat or Senapati Ghat. If one bathes here, he will have all vigna (obstacles) removed from his path of devotional service, as well as freedom from sins and miseries.

Copyright ©2001 John Howley and Spiritual Guides

Tomado de: http://www.vegetarian-restaurants.net/Vrindavana/Mathura/Tirthas-Ghats.htm

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