In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna granting the highest “Moksha” to Muchukunda. We’ve witnessed the trail of events that led to this important point, wherein Muchukunda was slumbering undisturbed and Bhagawan Krishna ran into the tunnel being chased by Kaalayavana. As Muchukunda’s sleep is disturbed, he opens his eyes and it was at this time, Kaalayavana bumped on to him straight on to his face! Thus, according to Indra’s boon, Kaalayavana was burnt to ashes and Bhagawan Krishna appears in front of Muchukunda to talk with him. However, sleeping as he was for hundreds of years together now, Muchukunda didn’t realize that it was Bhagawan who was standing in front of him. Unknowingly thus, Muchukunda questions Bhagawan Krishna about His whereabouts and what was He doing here. Playful and joyous as He is, Bhagawan Krishna shuts Muchukunda’s mouth, grants him the highest “Moksha” and sends him packing to Vaikunta! What a fortune did Muchukunda have in his life!
Thus, with this point, we come to the end of the Muchukunda-Charitra. Moving on thus, as Kaalayavana was killed, Bhagawan Krishna is going to establish His dwelling place at Dwaaraka. Even today, the presiding deity at this “Dwaaraka-Kshetra” is called as “Rana-Chod-Rai”. “Rana” means, battlefield, “Chod” means “thief”. Thus, we can infer that Bhagawan Krishna acted as if he had feared the battlefield at Mathura, ran all His way to this Dwaaraka Kshetra. Thus Bhagawan “Rana-Chod-Rai” is the presiding deity of “Daakur-Dwaaraka”. Thus, Bhagawan Krishna establishes a huge palace in this very place.
“Satvayaa drsihtamaatastu basmeebhavatu tatkshanaath!
Kobhavaaniha sampraaptaha vipine girigahvare!!
Padhyaam Padmaphalaashaabhyaam vicharasthu rurukantake!
Sva janma karma gotram vaa katthyathaam yadi rochate!!”
With this, we move on thus to the next important “Charitra” – How Bhagawan Krishna married Rukmini Devi. We’re going to witness how Rukmini Devi fell in love with Bhagawan Krishna and how did she manage to marry Him. However, we’re not going to do this now at this point. We shall reserve this Charitra towards the end of the “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Purana” text, according to the tradition. We would now witness what happened after Bhagawan Krishna married Rukmini Devi. For now, let us understand that Bhagawan Krishna has married Rukmini Devi and henceforth, they had children. Apart from Rukmini Devi, Bhagawan Krishna marries many other women and most importantly we talk about eight significant wives.
Till now, we’ve been witnessing what had conspired at the “Daakur-Dwaaraka” and now we’re going to move the scene to the next important Dwaaraka called “Gomati Dwaaraka”. This is where, Bhagawan Krishna prays to Samudra-Raja to obtain around 120 miles of “reclaimed land” from the sea. We’ve already witnessed a brief of this in our previous episodes, but now let us witness it in detail. It is on this reclaimed land did Bhagawan Krishna build an enormously beautiful palace and it is from here, was Bhagawan Krishna ruling the entire world. Even today if we happen to worship this Gomati Dwaaraka Kshetra, we would be able to worship all the eight important wives of Bhagawan Krishna.
From the seashore, we’ve to travel for around 8-9 kilometres inside the sea and we would reach a place called “Bet-Dwaraka”. “Bent” means “Hundi”, wherein we offer all our contributions when we visit temples. Also, when Bhagawan Krishna’s childhood friend Kuchela came to visit Him, he brought some puffed rice as a token of offering for Bhagawan Krishna. This is also called “Bent”. We’re going to witness this beautiful story in a while from now. Thus, this phrase “Bent” got revised over time and became “Bet”. This is why it is called as “Bet-Dwaaraka”. It is amidst this place, is another small place called “Moola-Dwaaraka”. This was perhaps once a main place, but now, owing to sea-erosion over the years, it has become totally insignificant today.
Next important place around this area is the place where Sudhaama was born. Sudhaama, also referred as Kuchela was Bhagawan Krishna’s important friend and many of us might be knowing it. This place today, is referred to as Porbandhar. This is also in the Indian state of Gujarat. In fact, all of these places that we’re referring to, are all in Gujarat only. Thus we can see here that this Gujarat is a complete enclosure of innumerable “Punya-Kshetras”. After this, if we travel northwards for a longer distance, we would enter into the Indian state of Rajasthan, wherein there is a famous place called “Udaipur”. From Udaipur, if we travel further northwards for around 40-50 kilometres, we would reach another important Dwaaraka called “Naasat-Dwaaraka”. The presiding deity of this Kshetra is called “Shreenath ji” and this is why it is also called as “Shreenaatha-Dwaaraka”. Shri Vallabhaachaarya was a great saint in the Shri-Vaishnava-Sampradhaaya who resided in this place and it was under him that this “Shreenaatha Dwaaraka” came into existence. The tradition which is followed in these places is referred to as “Pushti-Sampradaaya”, wherein the offerings to Bhagawan Krishna is predominantly milk and milk products only. If we happen to visit the “Shreenaatha-Kshetra” we would observe that there are around 3000 cows that are maintained for this purpose. If we pay some 10 or 15 rupees, they would give a bowl full of milk to us and we shall directly take it to Shrinath ji to be offered to Him!
Thus, these are all extremely important “Punya-Kshetras” and even today, the significance of all these are still maintained. The most important point here is that, we should allocate some time and visit these places. This is why I’m spending lot of time in describing these Kshetras in detail. We should not restrict ourselves in just reading about all of these. The real experience would be obtained only if we personally visit these places. Can we taste a sweet chocolate by just reading the word “Chocolate” on a paper? Can we enjoy the sweetness of a chocolate by just looking at a picture of it on a book? We would be able to enjoy the sweetness of the chocolate only by eating it isn’t it? Similarly, we would be able to enjoy the significance of “Dwaaraka” and its five important places only if we visit them in person. So let us make it a point to do so.
With this, we shall move on with the next important Charitra. From now we’ve to witness how Bhagawan Krishna married each of the eight women. We shall wait till the next episode to commence the events one after the other! Stay tuned! 🙂