“Through the spellbinding pages of Vraja-mandala Darsana, Lokanath Swami will take us on the traditional parikrama of Vraja-dhama, following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya and our beloved acaryas. We will hear, see, smell, taste and feel the twelve timeless forests of Vrndavana” (Radhanath Swami)
Lokanath Swami’s long cherished desire of an authoritative book on the glories of Vraja-mandla parikrama became a reality when his new book Vraja-mandala Darsana, after an effort of five and a half years, was ceremoniously offered at the hands of Srila Prabhupada on his 119th Vyasapuja celebrations at Sri Sri Krsna Balaram Mandir, Vrindavan this past Sunday on September 6, 2015. Senior Prabhupada disciples Rthdwaja Swami, ISKCON Vrindavan Temple President Pancagauda Das, Parvati Dasi, Daivi Shakiti Dasi and Haridas Prabhu were present on this auspicious occasion.
ISKCON’S very first literature on Vraja Mandala Parikrama, the book promises its readers a walkthrough of Vraja through its 608 colorful pages and poetically gives one the immersion experience of the sights and the smells of the twelve forests of Vrindavan. It contains 30 chapters each for a day of parikrama with 246 photographs, 107 paintings and 28 precise route maps obtained from Google Earth. The presentation of the book is unique and one of its own which beautifully intertwines text of the book with pictures. The color scheme changes after every two pages and is rarely repeated in the book. Thus, the readers don’t just read the book, but actually experience the parikrama in their houses even when thousands of miles away from Vraja.
In the evening an interactive session was organized at the Balaram Hall where Mahant from Sri Sri Radha Raman temple, Sri Padhmalochan Goswami was present to grace the occasion, along with senior vaisnavas from ISKCON Vrindavan community and the members of local media fraternity. Vaikuntha Murti Das from Mauritius, who helped with the research of the book delivered a concise Power Point presentation, iterating the deep connection of the Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas with Vraja Mandala. Sri Padmalochan Goswami also shared his realizations of ISKCON’s annual vraja mandala parikrama which takes place in Kartik every year. He stressed, “As a young boy I had the fortune to attend ISKCON’s Vraja-mandala Parikrama. I have vivid memories of my father holding my hand and taking me to the parikrama with ISKCON devotees”. “I thank Lokanath Swami on reaching this milestone. I hope this book will serve as guidebook for spiritual enthusiasts for many generations to come”, he added. Subhaga Swami, BA Janardana Swami, Panca Gauda Das, Mukund Datta Das, Parvati Dasi and Daivi Shakti Dasi later spoke of their realizations and connections with Vraja Mandala parikrama.
Lokanath Swami concluded the program with his address. He said: “many devotees say they could never go to Vraja-mandala parikrama because of their services and commitments. So, now have this book. You can now mentally go on a parikrama while at your home and temples. This year commemorates the 500th anniversary of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s Vrindavan yatra and our book is thus an offering to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission. Also this year ISKCON will celebrate its 29th annual Vraja-mandala parikrama. I urge you all to participate. I strongly recommend you to read a chapter of the book every day in the month of Damodar. This way, you can also go your parikrama for thirty days and thus develop your connection with the Vraja-mandala.” The book officially went to sale after prasadam distribution and Lokanath Swami personally signed the copies for devotees.
“For me, Lokanath Mahraja’s Vraja-mandala Darsana is not only a guide through Vrndavana but a means to live in Vraja while I serve in Hungary. I urge the readers of the book to use it not solely as a guide through Vraja, but as a guide through life back to Kirshna.” (Sivarama Swami)
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To order to book visit www.lokanthswamibooks.com/order/. International devotees can book their copies by contacting Deenanukampa Devi Dasi through email: firstname.lastname@example.org or through phone: +27827033980. And in India the orders can be placed by calling: +91 9654473213.
Devotees can order the book in USA using the following link: https://mkt.com/Lokmedia/vraja-mandala-darsana. For bulk orders in USA, you can reach out to Divyanam Das at email@example.com or 786-218-2824[ braja ] [ dham ] [ lokanatha-swami ] [ parikrama ] [ vraja-mandala ]