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Lord Sri Krsna goes out in the Vraja land to shower His mercy

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Bhadravan, Bhāṇḍīravan

It is written in the Bhaviya Uttara Purāṇa that Lord Balram would mainly play here, that’s why this forest is called Bhadravana because Lord Balram is also named as Balabhadra. Bhadravana is also called Bhāṇḍīra-vana. Nanda and Yashoda had performed muṇḍan ceremony (hair cutting ceremony) of Lord Kṛṣṇa. This ceremony takes place when a baby boy is eleven months old. Such a ceremony was held for Lord Kṛṣṇa because Nanda and Yasoda thought Lord Kṛṣṇa to be their son. Lord Kṛṣṇa had swallowed the forest fire here. Anyone who comes here and takes a bath in the Bhadra lake, they receive spiritual blessings.

Lotus Swami

Śrīvan, Belvan

This forest is named as ‘bela’ because there are many many trees of ‘vilva patra’ or ‘bilva’ trees and it is called Śrīvan because the Goddess of fortune, Laxmi Devi, is sitting here performing austerities to please Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa to obtain enough purity to participate in raas leela.

Lohavan

This forest is called Lohavan because Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa killed a demon named Lohajaṅgha and dug a water lake by using His flute. This was a large forest of kadamba trees producing very fragrant divine flowers. The four kumaras Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumar had performed austerities. Those who come here, they become blessed.

Mahāvan

This forest is also known as Brhadvana and ancient Gokul. In this place there is a Brahmand Ghat on the bank of Yamuna where Lord Shri Kṛṣṇa, when He was three years of age, He played with His cowherd boys and performed many kinds of pastimes. Anyone who comes here and takes a bath at Brahmand Ghat in the Yamuna becomes honored as Lord Indra, the king of heaven and after death obtains liberation.

Kāmyavan

In this forest there was a lot of Tulasi growing, that’s why this forest is also called Adi-Vrindavan. This is also called Badridham because here Nand Maharaj and Yashoda Mata had requested their baby Kṛṣṇa to show them the four holy places named Badrinath, Dwarika, Jagannath Puri and Rameshwaram. Lord Kṛṣṇa showed them His Badrinath form, that’s why Kāmyavan is also called Adi-Badri. Lord Kṛṣṇa performed many childhood pastimes here as well. There was a king named Kāmsena who had built a temple consisting of 84 pillars for Lord Kṛṣṇa. That’s why that temple is known as Chaurasi Khamba Wala Mandir. Near this forest there is Charan Pahari, a hill which has footprints of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Also, there is a Kameshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Tālavan

In this forest Lord Kṛṣṇa had killed the demon Dhenukasura who had come to kill Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His friends by changing his form looking like that of a donkey. Lord Kṛṣṇa caught his hind legs and spun around over His head in circles and threw him on the palm trees, thus he was dead. In this way Lord Kṛṣṇa protected His friends from the demon. Anyone who comes here obtains blessings of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Khadīravan

There were lots of date palm trees here and Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa would come to graze His calves. While Lord Kṛṣṇa was grazing His calves, a demon named Aghasura came in the form of a python to kill Lord Kṛṣṇa and His friends. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa killed the demon Aghasura and saved His friends. There is a huge water pond called Khadirvan and the village is known as Khaira.

Bahulāvan, Bakulavan

This forest is also known as Bahulavana. Those who come here, they become as vigorous, bright and powerful as the Fire God.

Panchamam Bahulam Naam Vananaam Vanmuttamam.
Tatra Gato Naro Devi ! Agnisthanam Sa Gachchati.

– Aadi Varaha Purana

Kumudavan

This is a great forest. Those who come here to circumambulate it, they receive blessings of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. There is a water pond called kumudinī  kuṇḍ in which Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa along with Rādhārāṇī had a water sporting pastime (splashing water on each other). Here Lord Kṛṣṇa had killed a great demon named Dantavakra.

Madhuvan

This forest is very near to Mathura. In this place a demon named Madhu was living whose son named Lavanasura was killed by Lord Rama’s youngest brother Shatrughna. This demon Madhu was killed by the Lord, that’s why He is known as Madhusudana. Lord Kṛṣṇa grazed his cows here and while He was grazing cows His friends, the coward boys, had performed arati of Lord Kṛṣṇa at this place. In Satya-yuga, following the instructions of Narad Muni, Dhruva Maharaj had performed his austerities here in Madhuvan.

Vrindavan

Vrindavan is the center place of twelve forests mentioned above. Here Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa performed His Rasadance with twenty-million Gopis in the dead of night. This is situated on the right side (western bank) of the Yamuna River and has 5000 temples. Even now Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa performs His Rasadance in the night here and those who have transcendental vision, they are able to see the Rasadance of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa said in the Śrīmad Bhagavatam that He does not go even one step outside of Vrindavan; He lives in Vrindavan permanently. 500 years ago Lord Śrī Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had sent six of His direct disciples to Vrindavan and they built temples dedicated to Lord Kṛṣṇa here.

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