By- Praharsh Mishra
Madhav: Are you sure regarding the sound of ghungroos and flute?
A local: Yes, I have heard it when I woke up to drink a glass of water?
Madhav: Do you also believe that Lord Krishna and Radha comes here to perform Rasa lila?
A local: Yes, I totally believe in it.
Madhav: But this is twenty first century. How come people have faith in such hearsays?
A local: Those who did not believe tried to stay in the night to witness the divine Rasa lila. They had in their mind that these things are false.
Madhav(with eagerness): What happened the next morning?
A local: The next morning they were not in a condition to tell anything. They became mad out of shock. Some became blind or deaf. Some smiled strangely without uttering a word and passed away few days later.
Madhav(with extreme shock): But why did this happened to them?
A local: Well god may not want others to see the Rasa Lila.
Madhav was a tourist who came to Mathura. During the trip he came to know from the internet about Nidhivan. When he inquired a local about Nidhivan he was flabbergasted.
The word ‘Nidhi’ means treasure and the word ‘Van’ means forest. It is indeed forest of treasure. What is mind-boggling about Nidhivan is that people have a belief that Lord Krishna and Radha rani comes here every night to perform the Maharasa lila! Inside Nidhivan, there is a temple called Rang Mahal or Shringar-ghar of Radha Rani. There is an idol of Krishna and Radha inside the temple. Some people say that Krishna adorns Radha here with his own hands. Some say that both come to take rest after the Rasa lila. Post the last arti i.e. 5 pm no one is allowed to venture inside the temple area.
What is more jaw-dropping that priests arrange the bed after the last arti for Krishna and Radha! They keep paan leaves, neem datun, sweets, water, saree and bangles for Lord Krishna and Radha Rani. The temple is locked and everyone leaves the temple. The next morning when the main door of the temple is opened everything is found scattered. The paan leaves, neem datun, sweets, water appears to be consumed. On being first heard it brings an awe and bewilderment. Isn’t it?
The divinity can be sensed in Nidhivan. There is something strange and attractive. The temple is surrounded by bushy forests. Interestingly, the trees are hollow and branches are twisted downwards. The roots, trunks, branches are all hollow but still the leaves are lively and green throughout the year. The tress are short and intertwined with each other. There are also basil trees(van tulsi) which exist In pairs. These signify the pair of Gopi and Krishna.
It is said that these trees are not tress but the gopis who are intertwined with each other signifying love. The trees turn into Gopis during the rasa lila. Some say that these are 1600 queens of Lord Krishna who participate in the rasa lila. On the other hand, some say that these trees light up at night to welcome the gods. Isn’t it a moment of awestruck? There is a well in Nidhivan. A story is behind this well. While performing the rasa lila Radha got thirsty and Krishna with his flute built a well. There is one more story about a rock in the temple area. While playing hide and seek with his friends Krishna used to hide behind this particular rock. The rock was once a mountain which melted into a rock because of the sound of Krishna’s flute. The footprints of Krishna and his calves can be seen in this rock.
No one is supposed to witness the rasa lila even accidentally. The temple area has abundance of monkeys and chirping of birds but after the last arti even monkeys strangely leave the temple area. Post the evening arti the temple area which was full of chirping of birds and abundance of monkeys transcends into an eerie of silence. Hence, in Nidhivan, the houses are made in such a way that the doors and windows do not face towards the temple area. Those who have windows facing towards the temple area have sealed their windows with bricks. Those who have not sealed keep their windows closed after the last arti. Post the last arti everyone strictly stays indoors keeping their doors and windows closed.
Renowned explorers and historians came to unveil the truth but were convinced by these facts. Many media houses too came in search for the truth. The team of News 18 also came. To unveil the truth they tied two trees with a red thread, two basil trees were also tied. They took the permission to lock the temple with their own lock. Post the evening arti i.e. 5 pm the temple was locked with seven locks. Three-three locks were locked in the two doors and one lock was locked at the main gate. The lock of the main gate was kept by the news reporter. The next morning the temple would be opened.
The news reporter came at 5 am along with the key of lock. The main gate was opened. There were few minutes for the Shringar-ghar to be opened. He headed towards the forest area. Due to heavy rain it was difficult for him to find those particular trees. But still he found out. The thread was broken. When he moved towards the basil trees that thread was also broken. He could not explain the reason that how come the thread got two split ends. However, he concluded that rain and speedy winds may be the reason behind it. Now it was time for the morning arti. The Shringar-ghar or Rangmahal was opened. The priests entered inside the temple. They brought the paan, datun, ladoo. They all appeared to be consumed. This was a shocking moment.
The team further took the things to some experts. When a dentist saw the neem datun, ladoo, paan he said that these are consumed by a human. When the news reporter further went to the DFO(Divisional Forest Officer) to know the reason behind the trees being twisted downwards. He said that this is the nature of these particular trees. He then asked a veterinary doctor about the monkeys leaving the temple area after the arti. He said that monkeys are herbivores and during night they don’t have anything to eat, so they leave after a particular time. But still not all facts are at our disposal. It still remains a miraculous mystery.
The locals say that Nidhivan was settled by Guru Haridas. The deep devotion and meditation compelled Lord himself to visit this place. The place where Lord appeared is known as the Prakatya Sthal. Every year this place draws a footfall of devotees. The priests make the temple area religious and pure with the recitation of mantras. But why is this particular place popular? Besides the miraculous mystery of this place if we look at the vastu(ancient Indian text on architecture) then for any place to gain fame there must be a low in the northern direction of that place. And if there is water along with a low then it acts as a booster to increase the fame. Any place in the world which is very much popular may have a low along with the accumulation or flow of water. This may be one of the reasons behind Nidhivan’s fame.
One question still strikes my mind. Why Lord Krishna has not allowed anyone to eyewitness the rasa lila? Rasa lila is the divine dance of love. Rasa lila is born out of pure love. Humans pure love cannot be even matched or compared to God’s pure love. This may be one of the reasons to not eyewitness the rasa lila. Suppose some elite class family has not invited you to their house. You forcefully enter their house. Will you not be punished if caught? Same may be the case here.
There is a shloka in Sanskrit, which is:
सर्वत: पाणिपादं तत्सर्वतोऽक्षिशिरोमुखम् |
सर्वत: श्रुतिमल्लोके सर्वमावृत्य तिष्ठति ||14||
(Bhagavad Gita, chapter 3, verse 14)
(sarvataḥ pāṇi-pādaṁ tat sarvato ’kṣhi-śhiro-mukham
Sarvataḥ śhrutimal loke sarvam āvṛitya tiṣhṭhati)
– Everywhere are His hands and feet, eyes, heads, and faces. His ears too are in all places, for he pervades everything in the universe.
This basically means that God is everywhere. Then why Lord Krishna shows his presence in Nidhivan only? Huge number of devotees visit the temple to pray, to see his presence. They visit and pray with a deep devotion. The frequency of energy radiated by their devotion together becomes much high. Thus, it compels Lord Krishna to visit and show his presence.
This place still remains a mystery. Something is there which is far beyond a humans reach. The enigma is till date not solved and we have to quench our thirst by these facts. This place awaits much more exploration. Some people believe in it and some not. It totally depends on their devotion, belief and instincts. But to me I do believe here is god’s abode.
Jai Shree Radhe Krishna!