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Monday, August 22, 2011

JANMASHTAMI: A trip to Krishna’s birthplace, Mathura - By Gayatri Sankar!


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Gayatri Sankar
The Revolutionary / Gayatri Sankar.

After having heard a lot about the birthplace of the effervescent king of romance and divinity, Lord Krishna, I finally made up my mind to visit Mathura. From the very beginning of the trip, I knew that it would be an unforgettable experience for I was able to feel the virtual presence of Krishna everywhere and in everyone.
On reaching the outskirts of the historic place, I could see herds of cattle flocking the streets, indifferent to the fact that Mathura is now a modern town. But they reminded me of Krishna’s fondness for cows and his close association with the domestic animal. Krishna’s image is unimaginable without the mute being! Though the sight of cattle is not a new thing on Indian roads, their presence in large numbers in Mathura instantly took me to the world of Kanha, way back to the treta yuga.

Almost about every shop, local schools have been named after the Lord. What is surprising is the fact that even as Mathura is gradually turning towards modernity, the lifestyle of people based in Krishna’s town bears great resemblance to the olden times. The chandan ka tika adorning the foreheads of the modern gopis (followers of Natkhat Nandlala as Krishna is fondly called) and tulsi mala encircled their necks beautifully.
An unusual sight in today’s times what struck me the most was that of young students of a Vedic educational institutions with tonsured heads. The kids looked adorable in dhotis that were draped primly around their tender waists and their khadi jhola hanging across their shoulders. They walked bare feet and literally looked like gwalbals (friends of Bal Krishna).
As my vehicle moved ahead until a juncture where I needed to alight to make my way to the main temple, I could see police and security personnel managing the crowd that had gathered. And that was when I woke up from my dream world and realised I was no longer in Krishna’s Mathura, but a modern town under political jurisdiction.
        

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