Chakra Living

Kartika in Vrndavana

from The Armchair Pilgrim

Posted October 9, 2004

I don't know if you're like me or not. I've never been to Kartika in Vrndavana. Every year I read the Internet articles about Kartika in Vrndavana and I really want to go. But, for one reason or another, I can never make it. Instead, I go to VNN, VINA, Chakra, or Dipika and look for yet another story, some more nectar about Kartika. This year I really thought I'd make it, but, again, circumstances were such that I couldn't go.

Somehow, though, this year was different. For some reason I came up with an idea that really has me going and I'm really excited about it. A few days ago I gathered up my tour books of India, enlarged a map of Vraja Mandala, made a calendar for the month of Damodara, and put together my own Vraja Mandala parikrama!

Planning the trip has been great. I started looking online and found a couple of schedules and routes of where groups usually go. I've blocked in (with pencil) on my calendar where to go for the first week. When that day comes, I sit down in my chair and read about it in my books and online.

The online resources seem infinite. There are pages that tell you about Kartika. There are pages with parikrama schedules and routes. There's even a page with the words, music, and chords to Damodarastaka. You can sing-a-long! And the pictures! Oh . . . my . . . gosh! There's even a website where you can offer arati to Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara in Vrndavana!

It's been wonderful. When I go to bed at night I fall asleep thinking about where I've been. When I wake up in the morning, I'm full of anticipation about where I'll be going. I meditate on it when I'm walking, chanting japa in the morning. Images of Vrndavana come to me at work. I can feel the air, see the trees, hear the traffic, and smell the dust.

I'm a pilgrim, in an armchair, in Vrndavana.


Resources

Books

The Color Guide to Vrindavana, The City of Over 5,000 Temples. By Rajasekhara dasa. $24.95
The Color Guide to Radha Kunda. By Rajasekhara das. $26.95.
The Color Guide to Govardhana Hill. By Rajasekhara das. $24.95.
Vrindavana and Braj Mandala / A Practical Guide. By John Howley. $19.95.
Gaudia Vaisnava Samadhis in Vrindavan. By H.H. Mahanidhi Swami. $15.95.
Vraja Mandala Darshana, Touring the Land of Krishna. By Miles Davis, Ph.D.
A Pictorial Guide to the Land of Krsna, Vrndavana Dhama Ki Jaya! By Dhruva Maharaja dasa

Websites

Information and scriptural quotes about Kartika from HareKrsnaNet in New Zealand
http://www.hknet.org.nz/parishad76-k.htm

The Glories of Kartika
Quotes from Mathura Mahatyam by Srila Rupa Gosvami and Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta.
http://newpanihati.tripod.com/NewsGroup/KCNectar/KCNectar110901.htm

Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti's Vraja Parikrama Schedule and Route
http://purebhakti.com/parikramas/vraja/schedule2004.shtml

Braja Vrndavana Parikrama
Has information, route, and pictures.
http://mathuravrindavan.com/mathura1/brajamandala.htm

Nice website with information about Vrndavana, including maps.
http://www.girirajji.com/index1.html

Damodarastaka, sung by Sathyavrata Muni (Vyasa deva), with chords for guitar or piano
http://www.srimadbhagavatam.org/music/text/damodarastaka.html

Photos from Sri Narasingha Chaitanya Matha
http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/pilgrimages/index.html

From ISKCON.com, some Vrndavan highlights.
http://www.iskcon.com/culture/holy_places/vrindavan.html

Wow, lots of great information.
http://www.naturalnirvana.com/Braja-Mandala/Vrindavan/Vrindavan.htm

Parikrama Route
http://www.naturalnirvana.com/Braja-Mandala/Braja-Mandal-Files/Braja-Mandala -Parikrama.htm

Vrinda website, click on Picture Book to view the photos
http://www.vrindavan.org/

Bhaktivedanta Memorial Library, photo index of a parikrama, but no annotations.
Click on a photo to see it larger and start a slide show.
http://bvml.org/VMP/index.html

Stories of Srila Prabhupada in Vrndavana
http://www.vrindavan-dham.com/sp_vrindavan.php

Friends of Vrndavana, picture tour
http://www.fov.org.uk/gallery/tour/tour.html

Lord Krsna in Vrndavana, painting and photo tour
http://www.fov.org.uk/gallery/krishna/1.html

Mayapur Vrndavana Trust website. Great pictures and you can offer Arati to Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara!!!
http://www.mvtindia.com/index.html