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Vrundavan


Vrundavan is the most sacred pilgrimage center for Vaishnavs. During Shri Krishna Bhagwan’s time, over 5,000 years ago, there flourished a forest (van) of tulsi (Vrunda) shrubs. That is why it is named Vrundavan (Brindavan in Hindi and Bengali). Many different sampradays have their mandirs here. The major one is of Shri Govinddevji, built by Maharaja Mansinh of Jaipur. Lakshmichand Babu built the Shrirangdev Mandir, with a pillar of solid gold in the front court. This mandir is built in the south Indian tradition.
When Shri Krishna played the divine Raas with the gopis, Shivji arrived as a gopi to have divine darshan. Therefore there is a mandir of Gopeshwarnath here too. When Tulsidas arrived here on a pilgrimage, he did the darshan of Bankey Bihari (Shri Krishna). However he composed a lyric, “I can only bow to you if you appear to me as my Ram.” Shri Krishna then appeared to him as Raghunandan. Hence this mandir is known as TulsidasGosai Mandir. Shri Krishna gave darshan here to Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s parents, Dharmadev and Bhaktimata, as well as guru Ramanand Swami.
An interesting story concerns Lakshmichand Babu. During Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s time, some of His paramhansas arrived in Vrundavan and informed Lakshmichand Sheth that Bhagwan had incarnated and was staying in Gadhada. Sheth told them that he would bear all expenses, if they would kindly request Him to come to Vrundavan. He also gave them a vial of perfume worth 400 rupees, for Bhagwan.
When the paramhansas related his wish to Shriji Maharaj, He replied that it will not be possible for Sheth to have His darshan in this birth. Sheth later set off for Gadhada, but died on the way. He was then born as Nathu Patel in Kariyani. He then met and served Aksharbrama Gunatitanand Swami.

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