Five Gatekeepers

In Vrindavan it is well known that a border separates its material and spiritual dimensions. To exit one realm and enter the other we need permission from Vrindavan’s five gatekeepers:

holydham-gatekeepers1) Govardhan Hill

2) The Yamuna River

3) Yogamaya

4) The dust of Vrindavan

5) Gopesvara Mahadeva (Lord Shiva)

 


For your pleasure and to encourage you to visit, here are the prayers recommended for each of these transcendental guardians:


Govardhan pranams

namaste girirajaya sri govardhana namine ashesha klesha nashaya paramananda dayine

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the king of hills whose name is Govardhan. He destroys unlimited miseries and bestows the highest bliss.


Obeisances to the Yamuna River

gangadi-tirtha-parisevita-pada-padmam goloka-saukhya-rasa-puramahim mahimna aplavitakhila-sudhasu-jalam sukhabdhau radha-mukund-muditam yamunam namami

I offer my obeisances to Yamuna, whose lotus feet are reverentially served by all holy places, including the Ganga. Her exalted currents carry the blissful nectar of Goloka, and she has attracted by her greatness all the sanctified waters to fill her. She delights Sri Radha and Mukunda, immersing them in an ocean of happiness.


Prayers to Yogamaya Devi (Paurnamasi Devi)

kuladevi yogamaya more kripa kori avarana sambaribe kabe visvodari

O Yogamaya! When will you show mercy to me by lifting up the curtain of illusion with which you shroud the universe in your external form of mahamaya? You are known as Kuladevi, the transcendental worshipable goddess of all the vaishnava dynasties.

e dase janani! kori‘ akaitava doya vrindavane deha‘ sthana tumi yogamaya

O my dear mother! Showing your causeless mercy to this servant, give me a place in Vrindavan, for you are Yogamaya herself (the internal energy of yoga, or union).

(Kalyana-kalpataru, by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)


Prayers to the Dust of Vraja

The following excerpt from Srila Prabhupada’s Krishna book (chapter 38, “Akrura’s Journey to Vrndavana”) is exemplary: “One who intends to visit Vrindavan should follow the ideal footsteps of Akrura and always think of the pastimes and activities of the Lord. As soon as one reaches the boundary of Vrindavan, he should immediately smear the dust of Vrindavan over his body without thinking of his material position and prestige.”

sukhamaya brndaba – kaba habe darsana se dhuli lagibe kabe gaya preme gadagada haina – radha-krsna-nama laina kandiya bedaba ubharaya

When will I see the blissful land of Vrindavan? When will I smear the dust of Vrindavan over my body? When will I walk about Vrindavan, loudly singing the names of Radha and Krishna and crying, my voice choked with ecstatic love?

(Prarthana, by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura)


Prayers to Gopeshwar Mahadev

srimad gopisvaram vande sankaram karuna-mayam sarva-klesa-haram devam vrindaranya-rati-pradam

I offer my respectful obeisances to Sri Gopesvara, who is the merciful Lord Shiva himself. He removes all troubles and grants spiritual love in Vrindavan.

(Sri Bhakti-ratnakara 5.374)