“You may wear the ochre robes of a renunciant, observe the strictest of diets, eating only the purest foods, or live in complete solitude; you may meditate deeply upon scriptural wisdom, or visit every single holy place on pilgrimage – yet even after doing all these things, you will not be able to overcome material desires. But those desires will leave your heart forever, if you only begin to offer love to the lotus-like feet of Shri Govind, who plays in bliss with the cowherd boys and girls of Braj on the joyful banks of the Shri Yamuna River.”
( Padyavali, 11)
When Krishn was preparing for His pastimes on Earth, His beloved Shri Radha asked Him to bring the holy river Yamuna from Their eternal Abode. To please Her, Krishn fulfilled this wish.
“Shri Yamuna’s majestic waters overflow with the blissful joy of eternal Vrindavan.”
During the time of Krishn lila
, Yamuna served the inhabitants by providing water for sustenance, and as a devotee, she witnessed and served Krishn and His associates in every pastime. Krishn spent most of His time by the bank of Yamuna, grazing cows, playing with friends, and gopis as well as killing demons. The Lord also cleansed her waters when she was poisoned by serpent Kaliya’s venom. And every night, on her serene banks, Krishn performed Raas lila
. Yamuna became the purest holy river amongst all rivers for her service to Shri Radha and Krishn.
To this day, in Their eternal pastimes, Shri Radha and Krishn, and Their dearest gopis
, perform the Raas dance by the banks of the Yamuna River. When the night ends, Yamuna’s waters soothe Radha and Krishn’s fatigue, washing away the pearls of perspiration from Their fragrant bodies. which merge into Yamuna’s waves, blessing her waters.
Of Their sweet perfume
On the waters
(Vaisnavacharya Chandan Goswami, Spiritual Ink)
Longing for just a drop of this ambrosia, devotees make a pilgrimage to Vrindavan, paying their obeisances to Yamuna and bathing in her.
snāna-jāta-suk tān na kevalāt sphūrtidā muraripo rave sutā
vīk a ād api yato bibharti sā syāma-dhāma-vara-mādhurī-dhurām
“Yamuna blesses those who bathe in her waters with a vision of Krishn. By seeing her, Yamuna gives the sweetness of His eternal Home.”
For many years now, Ganga wale Baba has organised a daily ritual of devotional offerings such as flowers, diyas
, prayers, and aarti
by the ancient sandstone steps of Keshi Ghat in Vrindavan for this eternal river of love. Every evening, hundreds of men and women gather at these steps asking goddess Yamuna to bless them with darshan
of Krishn, Who can be found wandering here.
“Do not go to Keshi Ghat, o friend, if you wish to remain happy with your material life and relationships. For there the most enchanting Shri Govind stands upon the banks of the Shri Yamuna River, like a dancer in a thrice-curved pose, smiling and stealing loving glances from the corners of His eyes, the flute pressed to His tender, red flowerlike lips, radiant with a peacock feather in His headdress.”
( Bhaktirasamrtasindhu, 1.2.239)