The Glories of Gopi-chandana Tilak

Gopi ChandanaPadma Purana explains that in one kalpa during Krishna’s Bhauma Vrndavana (earthly) pastimes, the Vraja-gopis went near Dvaraka to dance with their beloved in a secluded forest beside the sea. Krishna secretly left His palace, abandoned His royal insignias, robes, opulent crown and other trimmings of a King, and again adorned Himself in his gopa-vesh, simple dress of a Vrndavana cowherd boy, – with a red turban and peacock feather atop His head, a flowing lightning gold dhoti and diaphanous yellow chaddar, a yellow karnikara flower stuck above one ear, a gunja berry necklace swining from His neck, and of course that indomitable instrument of seduction and family destruction- His murali.

After hours of wonderful dancing and loving expressions, Krishna took the gopis to swim in a nearby lake to relieve their fatigue. All the body powders, unguents, oils and pastes of sandalwood, musk, jasmine, saffron and various colored minerals washed off their transcendental bodies as they splashed each other and played about. These fragrant substances filtered down through the water, and mixed in with the muddy clay at the bottom of the lake. By the touch of these divine substances all the clay became spiritualized and endowed with a sublime fragrance. For the last fifty centuries Visnu and Krishna bhaktas have been using THIS clay known as gopi chand (it is golden color just like Radhika’s splendid limbs), to apply tilaka to their bodies and write the names of Krishna or Radha across their chests or foreheads, which means “I am the property of Radha.”
The gopi-chand we are sending has been broken from a large chunk, soaked in water, and placed in a container to dry into a particular shape. You may again break it and use the odd shaped pieces to apply tilaka, or use the maha chunk.

Sastric References Regarding Benefit of Wearing General Tilaka, and special Dvarka Gopi-chand 

First we will give some quotes from one of our notebooks: Tilaka on the body acts to purify the body and indicates that our body is surrendered to Krishna. The particular places on the body where tilaka is applied are sensitive points (energy sensors) on the body which easily absorb the spiritual energy generated by reciting the transcendental names (Sri Visnu, Sri Visnave, Sri Govinda etc.) and mentally placing or installing the Lord in those positions by applying the tilaka symbol. Essentially the applying of tilaka installs the Lord on twelve parts of the body, or creates Krishna’s twelve temples on the body.

Padma Purana Glories of Wearing Tilaka:

1. If one is not wearing tilaka he will not get any result from the performance of chanting, austerities, study, Gayatri, yajna, or any other spiritual activity.
2. Auspicious Darsana — if someone sees the tilaka on a devotee’s face, he will become freed of all sins.
3. Death—if wearing tilaka at time of death, one will go to Vaikuntha.
4. Krishna is pleased and resides with wearer of tilaka.
5. Tilaka on body means the body has become a sanctified temple of the Lord.
6. Tilaka mark, Brahma resides on left, Siva on right, and Visnu (Krishna in center)

Padma Purana Specific Glories of Wearing Gopi-chand tilaka from Dvaraka:

1. Gopi-chand is so pure that a sinful person becomes pure just by its touch.
2. If you perform various Vedic rites (samskaras, yajnas etc.) without proper mantras, you will still get permanent benefits from those acts provided you are wearing gopi-chand tilaka.
**Because we feel somehow close to you, as you do toward us, we wish to share with you the bhava we feel in our heart while applying tilaka from gopi-chand. Acts in Krishna consciousness that are backed with the proper bhavas will quickly bring the result of suddha-bhakti and prema. Mechanical movements, though beneficial, do not attach our heart to Krishna, nor attach Krishna’s heart to ours.

Glories to Gopi chand Tilaka

The upward U of tilaka placed on the forehead represents the lotus foot of our paramaradhya ista deva, Sri Krishna. The solid part on the nose should be shaped like a tulasi leaf because that part of the tilaka represents a tulasi leaf on the foot of Krishna. That solid part also represents “the mark of the soul.” The idea is that just as tulasi is always found on lotus feet of Krishna, so the devotee’s heart mind and life are always supposed to be found and fixed on Krishna’s lotus feet.
The Vaisnava practice of adorning the body with tilaka is glorified throughout the Puranas, itihasas, and Pancartrika literatures. What follows is a collection of random quotes from Puranas contained in our notebook concerning tilaka:
“Wearing tilaka purifies the physical and subtle mental body. Twelve points of tilaka applications are nerve sensitive areas, energy sensors on the body, which easily absorb the spiritual energy generated from chanting the names of Visnu, (om govindaya namah, etc.), and by mentally placing or installing the Supreme Lord on those body parts. Body turns into twelve temples of Visnu! It is the mark of a Vaisnava, devotee of Lord Visnu, and it indicates surrender to Krishna.
Padma P says without first wearing tilaka one will get no result from performing austerity, yajna, chanting mantras, studying sastras or murmuring gayatri, or any other spiritual activity. Good for preaching because anyone who sees tilaka on another’s face becomes freed of all sins. Wearing at the time of death, one goes to Vaikuntha. Wearing it pleases the Lord. He lives with us and the material body becomes a sancitied temple of Krishna. Tilaka sanctifies and dedicates the body to Krishna’s service. Brahma lives on left side line, Siva on right and visnu in open center area. In the absence of tilaka, one may use earth from holy place or dirt from base of any tulasi, which is taken to be vraja-raja, the dust of Vrndavana.

Specific glories of Gopi-chand, (tilaka only coming from a dry lake bed in Dvaraka)—
GC is so pure that a sinful person becomes pure just by touching it. If one is wearing GC when doing yajnas, homas and other Vedic rites, even if done without proper mantra chanting or ritual observance, one will still get permanent benefit of those acts.

History of Gopi Chandana: After Krishna left Vraja and moved to Dvaraka, the Vraja-gopis felt inconceivable pangs of separation. Overwhelmed, they once ran to Dvaraka where Uddhavaji arranged for Dvarakadish to secretly meet the Vraja–gopis outside the city precincts within a lush, dark and secluded forest. “Why have You neglected us for so long?” they asked. Krishna reassured them that they would always be together on the transcendental platform because of their intense, unalloyed pure devotion. He told them that He never forgot them, and is always thinking of them, so actually there is no question of separation from each other. With tears welling in His eyes and His chest heaving from a heavy heart, Krishna told them that they were always residing in the core of His heart. Somehow the Vraja-gopis understood and continued to love Krishna in separation. But to celebrate their eternally pure love, Krishna created a new lake for the Vraja-gopis to sport in, called Gopisarovar or Gopi-tala. Together Krishna and His sweet girlfriends bathed, splashed and enjoyed within those crystal clear waters. As a result, all their mascara, body oils, ointments, tilaka, sandalwood paste, dots of musk, kunkuma, and vermillion washed off their transcendental bodies and settled in the day at the bottom of the lake. This clay picked up the scent and golden color of Krishna’s most dearly beloveds and became transformed and spiritualized in the process. Over the centuries, Yogamaya arranged to dry up that lake, at least for most of the year outside the rainy season, so sadhakas could take chunks of that special transcendental tilaka to apply to their bodies in remembrance of Krishna’s love, gopi bhava, the mood of surrender and the eternal intimate conjugal service of Rasamayi Sri Krishna, reality the beautiful. In short, those are the wonderful glories of the gopi-chand tilaka, which we greatfully and lovingly apply to our lowly bodies. It is all mercy and divine compassion coming down from above.

“Jai Jai Shri Radhe”

How to Chant on Beads

ChantingBhakti yoga practice includes chanting the Hare Krishna mantra softly to oneself. This is called japa.

While chanting, one generally keeps the sacred japa beads in a bead bag/gomukhi bag to keep them clean and off the floor. A ‘gomukhi’ is a special cover made in the shape of a cow’s mouth. It is mentioned in our ancient texts that while chanting mantras on a rosary it should always be kept inside the gomukhi bag. One side of the bag is large enough to insert your hand. Your index finger coming out the smaller hole on the other side helps you hold on to the bag. Place your beads in the bag, and you’re ready to go.

There are 108 beads and one larger bead, known as the head bead, or Krishna bead. Begin with the bead next to the Krishna bead. Gently roll the bead between the thumb and middle finger of your right hand while chanting guru mantra.

Then move forward to the next bead (pulling the bead towards you, into your hand) and repeat the guru mantra.

In this way, continue chanting on each of the 108 beads in the strand until you again reach the Krishna bead. This is known as one round of japa and usually takes few minutes.

If you are going to chant more than one round of japa, then, without chanting on the Krishna bead, turn the strand around and begin the next round. (Continue pulling beads towards you, as before.)

Chant clearly and try to hear the holy names with attention. Some chanters find that looking at the mantra or a picture of Krishna helps them concentrate. If that works for you, that’s fine. But remember that the goal is attentive hearing.

Where can I get the beads and bead bag?

You’ll find a good selection in our radhegovind.net store.

“Jai Jai Shri Radhe”

Braj Chaurasi Kos Darshan Yatra

Braj Chaurasi Kos YatraOnce upon a time God Shiva was staying at Mount Kailash. God Shiva was looking tensed; looking at him Goddess Parvati asked him the reason for it. God replied to her “I have heard that everyone should have a spiritual guru in his life, but I don’t have anyone, it is said that unless you meet a spiritual guru a human doesn’t get the benefit of his virtuous deeds.” No matter how much we pray to God we never get any yield. That’s why I am thinking to find a spiritual guru.

Hearing this Goddess Parvati suggested that “to whom you worship day and night make him your spiritual guru?” God replied that there is nothing special in this since everybody in this universe pray to him. Goddess suggested that he should make God Krishna and Goddess Radha his guru. God Shiva became very happy and said “I will go and meet him today itself and will request to be my spiritual guru”.

God Shiva and Goddess Parvati than went to Vishnu Lok to meet God Vishnu. On reaching they told the reason to come to Vishnu Lok. God Vishnu accepted his request to become his Guru and agreed to meet him at the Bank of river Birija.

On decided day God Vishnu and Shiva met at the banks of river Virija. God Shiva and Goddess Parvati gave a huge welcome to Mata Lakshmi and Vishnu Ji. God Shiva created a new city on the banks of river Birija. In this city there were numerous cows, tree with fruits, bountiful birds etc. There was a huge Throne of Gold named as “Shree Golok Dham”.

After performing the rituals God Shiva and Goddess Parvati gave new identity to God Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi as Krishna and Radha. With rituals and prayer he made God Krishna his spiritual guru. And told that all the animals, birds, trees etc dedicated to you. Shiva also requested both of them to reside in Golok Dham forever.

Once Radha and Krishna were enjoying in Shree Golok Dham and they were engrossed in the beauty of the place. Same time Radha’s brother came there. Radha & Krishna could not see him. He became very angry and cursed them “you are so busy among yourself that you couldn’t see me I curse you that henceforth you will not see each other although still loving.”

God Vishnu said we need to go to earth to live the curse. Goddess Lakshmi replied that she will not go to earth as there is lot of bad thing on earth. It’s not a livable place. God Vishnu suggested why not to bring the Golok Dham to Earth and staying it.

To bring Golok Dham on earth God Vishnu requested Yamuna Ji to come on earth. After that Water of river Birija was poured into it. God Krishna than took sand (Raj) to the size of his 84 fingers. This sand was spread across river Yamuna in the area of 84 Kos (252 Kilometers). Joining the name of river Birija and Raj of Golok Dham gave the name as and Birija.

In this area there are 12 Van (Forest) 24 Upvan (Gardens) 20 Kund (Tanks),and village namely as Nand-Goan, Barsana, Govardhan Vrindavan, Mathura, Kosi, Radha Kund etc. After the city was created God Krishna requested all the trees, birds etc in Golok Dham to come to Brij and stay in there.

After some time Radha was born in village Barsana. Few years later of her birth God Krishna was born in a prison in Mathura. All his childhood activities happened in Brij area. To complete the curse of Radha’s brother Krishna left Brij and went to Dwarka and Radha Ji remained in Brij. After completing the term of curse Radha Ji left for Golok Dham.

As per Bhagvat Gita and other books its mentioned that in Kalyug anyone who completes the Yatra of 84Kos will get rid of all his evil deeds.

Mukti Kahe Gopal se, meri mukti batao,

Brij raj jab maathe chade mukti mukt ho jaye||

Brij chourasi kos ki parikamma jo det,

To lakh chorasi janm ke paap hari har let||

 “Jai Jai Shri Radhe”