December Vrindavan

As the busy month of Kartik[1. Kartik is the eighth lunar month of the Hindu calendar. It is characterized by many religious festivals especially in the North Indian holy town of Vridavan.] reaches it’s end, the crowds of pilgrims in Vrindavan gradually thin. December’s cold brings a thick fog and with the change in ambiance comes a change in mood. The spirit shifts. It feels like Vrindavan is calling the soul to move from festive celebration to hushed, solemn contemplation and prayer. In the mornings one can circle the path around the town visiting holy spots veiled in haze.

Early in the morning, Keshi Ghat, usually lively with pilgrims and sadhus bathing in the holy Jamuna, becomes a lonely place. Boats sit idle on the bank. Beautifully carved sandstone piers invite you to rest a moment, take a few drops of holy water on your head, gaze up river toward the Madan Mohan Temple, and offer a prayer in silence.

This is the place where Krishna killed the horse demon Keshi who represents false pride, an obstacle on the path of bhakti. In the Bhagavad-gita Arjuna refers to Krishna as Keshi-nishudana (slayer of Keshi). His hope was that, by his divine instructions, Krishna would slay the doubts which hindered his spiritual conviction. At this spot, Krishna bhaktas have been offering similar prayers for thousands of years.

Kaustubha das

Robert Stoetzel is a New York based photographer traveling and photographing in India trough March 2009.

Related Posts: Gopurams in Sepia / Portraits from the Kunds of Govardhan / Murals of the Krishna Balaram Temple






5 responses to “December Vrindavan”

  1. Gitapriya dasi Avatar
    Gitapriya dasi

    “My dear friend, if you are indeed attached to your worldly friends, do not look at the smiling face of Lord Govinda [Krishna] as He stands on the bank of the Yamuna River at Keshi Ghat. Casting sidelong glances, He places His flute to His lips. His transcendental body, bending in three places, appears very bright in the moonlight.”

    Srila Rupa Goswami
    Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.239

  2. Gary Sabino-Benowitz Avatar
    Gary Sabino-Benowitz

    Beautiful photos. Thanks, Gary

  3. Vraja Kishor Avatar

    Very interesting to actually see the boats there. The boat with the rug in it was very moving. I always wanted to explore this building, but found it frightening or intimitating and was scared I would get eaten by a monkey or step on a nail or something. Thanks for taking the pictures of a few of the places that I would have liked to visit.

  4. Srinivasa Avatar

    Vrndavana in December is a unique time. Photographs convey this intrigue beautifully. I would love to see a collection of these works after months of photographing.

  5. shaun maclean marrow Avatar

    beautiful photos.
    this artist came to mind when viewing them.

    lothar osterburg