Gaudiya Math in Kurukshetra

      Gaudiya Math is located on the northern banks of Brahma Sarovar. As the name suggests, this Math has been built by Gauda Vaishnavas, ardent followers of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. They consider Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to be an incarnation of Lord Krishna.

      Gaudiya Math, Shri Jayaram Vidyapeeth, and Gita Bhavan are located close by, adjacent to one another. Gaudiya Math is at an elevation and located behind a string of small gift shops that adorn the road. I would have missed this building had I not been watchful, There were about 10 steps at the entrance to this building. As I climbed these steps, I came across a ticket counter on my left. For just two rupees, I was allowed to enter a huge room full of puppets. These puppets depicted the glorious pastimes of Lord Krishna. There were 19 glass showcases, each depicting an incident.

      The incidents depicted were:

1. Brahma's birth from the navel of Vishnu

2. Krishna dancing on the poisonous serpent, Kaliya

3. Krishna stealing butter from the houses of gopis

4. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu singing Sankirtan in the forests of Brij Bhoomi

5. Krishna killing the serpent demon, Aghasura

6. Krishna killing the bull demon, Aristasura

7. Balarama killing the donkey demon, Dhenukasura

8. Radha with Krishna

9. Vishnu taking birth as Krishna in a prison cell that houses Devaki and Vasudev

10. Vasudev carrying Krishna on his head and crossing the Yamuna

11. Yashoda giving birth to Yogamaya

12. Krishna killing the demoness, Putana

13. Krishna performing Ras Lila with the gopis

14. Krishna lifting the Goverdhan Hill

15. Krishna kiling his evil cousin, Shishupala

16. Krishna meeting the gopis at Brahma Sarovar on the day of a solar eclipse

17. Krishna coming to Kurukshetra with His family on the occasion of solar eclipse

18. Krishna seeking the blessings of His foster parents, Yashoda and Nanda

19. Uddhav reading Krishna's message to the gopis

      All these puppets looked so real that I felt as if I was witnessing these incidents in Dwapara Yuga. When came out of this room, I found myself once more in Kali Yuga!

      As I ascended five more steps, I reached the top of the building. I had reached the sanctum sanctorum of this Math. It had a black idol of Krishna, flanked by idols of Radha and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. I proceeded further and reached an open courtyard. I suddenly felt as if I was in the 15th century. Cows tied to wooden stumps, kids with gopichandana adorning their foreheads, running around in dhotis!

      Behind this courtyard is the Veda Vyas Temple. To its right were many rooms, where the residents of the Math lived. Technology and its associated modern day evils have not affected the serene ambience of this place.

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