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Showing posts from August, 2012

43 Revati

While traveling in North India, we came across a temple at Gokul that has the idol of Balarama with his wife Revati. This seems to be the only temple to boast a joda (pair), and so I decided to write about this largely unknown wife of Balarama.

Revati was the daughter to king Raivata, a mighty king who ruled the kingdom of Kushasthali and Anarta - the ancient name of Dwarka in Gujarat. Some accounts suggest that Kushasthali was a powerful and prosperous kingdom under sea - something like the Atlantis, while Anarta corresponds to the present-day North Kathiawad region of Gujarat state.

Raivata, also called Kakudmi, was the last known ruler of the dynasty of Sharyatas, who claimed their descent from Sharyati, a son of Vikukshi, son of Ikshvaku (founder of the surya vamsa and ruler of Ayodhya), who in turn was the son of Vivasvan Manu, son of Surya. Sharyati had three sons: Uttanabarhi, Anarta, and Bhurisena. Raivata was the son of Revata, son of Anarta.

It is said that Revata, Raivata'…

42 Makhan Mishri in Gokul

It so happened that by chance (or you can say by providence, depending on your inclination) that we took a short road trip to Mathura on the day of the Choti Teej - also called Hariyali Teej in North India.

This festival is celebrated on the 3rd day of the Shukla paksh of Shravan month - and although not as grand and superflous as Badi Teej - which comes only 5 days before the largest festival in Mathura - Krishna Janmashtami, Choti Teej has its own charm. The weather at this time of the year is usually very pleasant, with the monsoons making the nortern plains look sparking green (hence the name - Hariyali Teej), and the people in the five villages of Brij - Mathura, Vrindavan, Govardhan, Barsana, and Gokul - especially Gokul - have a sparkle in their eyes in anticipation of festivities and also of good business during the times.

Apparently a visit to this region is equivalent to a complete Char Dham yatra, since this is the root of the tree - a place where Lord Krishna spent his chil…