There are many; grand and timeless. In some of the ancient temples deities belonging to the Dwapar Yuga are worshipped even today. But no one goes there anymore. No one goes to the Yamuna. No one bathes in the extant Braj raj.
- By Acharya Ved Gopal Goswami (Deepak)
Vrindavan, 2022-05-02 (Vrindavan Today News): How many temples are there in Vrindavan? Which is the most important of them? Who is the most famous Thakur of Vrindavan? And so rages on the never-ending argument in the minds of the uninitiated and new class of visitors to Shri Dham Vrindavan. It is said that one should not distinguish between the Thakurs of Vrindavan, but the fault is not entirely theirs. In the age of commercialism and vanity, even temples and deities have become subject to branding and marketing. There’s then little chance for those who share no real connect with Dham to understand the essence of it.
But Vrindavan’s Thakur is ever gracious. So as to enlighten the doubtful, and inspire them to relish all His different forms, moods, sevas, and lilas in Dham, He motivated us to tweak these myriad questions into one overarching query, What was the original nature of Vrindavan?
Before it became a temple town, Vrindavan was Shri Krishna’s vast playground; His grand lila sthali. The only manifest deities here were Giriraj, Yamuna and Braj Raj. Great saints like Shriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Hit Harivansh, Swami Haridas, Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya mediated on Krishna lilas in the lap of these three eternal devatas of Shri Dham. And from those potent states of consciousness were revealed the individual lila sthalis and the many vigrahas that are celebrated in Vrindavan’s temples today.
Yet they never became attached to these divine forms in the mundane sense. They never prescribed the building of the temples. The concept of worship propagated by them was that of ‘nikunj upasana’ to which Govardhan, Yamuna, Braj raj, groves, and kunds as well as the birds and animals were all inextricably linked. The shrines that one sees today were built by their followers; the kings and merchants.
That brings us to the original question – Which is the most important temple in Vrindavan? And the simple answer is there are many; grand and timeless. In some of them the deities belonging to the Dwapar Yuga are worshipped even today. But no one goes there anymore. No one goes to the Yamuna. No one bathes in the extant Braj raj. Verily, entire Vrindavan is a temple. Every deity worshipped with love and devotion in Vrindavan’s natural surroundings, temples and homes, is equally venerable.
About the author
Shri Vedgopal Goswami (Deepak) is the sevait of Shri Bare Dauji Mandir at Balbhadra Peeth in Vrindavan. The Deity of Shri Dauji Maharaj (Balaram) is one of the oldest deity of Braj – Vrindavan, which manifested along with Shri Govinda Dev (the King of Vrindavan) from the mound of Goma Teela. It is also believed that the deity of Shri Balaram is one of the deities established by Shri Krishna’s great grandson Shri Bajranabh Maharaj. Goswami ji is very much concerned about the ecological and cultural degradation of Braj – Vrindavan.