Krishna’s journey from this world to His world
Born to Devaki in Mathura, Krishna is considered the manifestation of Vishnu.
<b>Sarjana Sharma</b> <br><br> Born to Devaki in Mathura, Krishna is considered the manifestation of Vishnu. His father Vasudev sent him to his friends Nand and Yashoda, as his life was under threat from his uncle Kansa. In his growing up years in Uttar Pradesh’s Braj Krishna performed his mischievous acts and later chose Gujarat’s Dwarka region to set up his clan’s empire. Krishna breathed his last at Gujarat’s Prabhas Patan. Golok Dham was the place from where Krishna embarked onto his journey to the Nijdham and Bhalka Tirath is where an arrow pierced through Krishna’s foot resulting in his death. <br><br> Nand ke Lal, Bal Gopal, Makhan Chor, Krishna Kishor, Natwar Nagar, Chit Chor, Partha Sarthi are several of the thousands of names by which Krishna is known and worshipped. In Indian culture he is the only god who is considered to be a friend and a lover by his followers. He is also referred to as Pyaar Chor and Rasiya by his devotees. <br><br> Krishna was also known for his playacts (leelas) whether it is grazing cows, romancing the milkmaids (gopis), driving the chariot of Arjuna. At the same time profundity is found when he delivers the Gita as a sermon to Arjuna in the midst of the battlefield of Kurukshetra. <br><br> Krishna was a friend of Pandavas and helped them to win against deceitful Kauravs. It prompted Kauravs’ mother Gandhari to curse his lineage (Yaduvansh) to perish due to internecine fighting, much in a similar manner leading to their end. <br><br> After the battle of Mahabharata, Krishna resided in Dwarka, which was their capital, for three decades until Gandhari’s curse materialised. Cursed also by some sages for playing a mischievous prank on them, the inebriated Yadavs engaged in such bloodshed ending their bloodline. <br><br> Seeing the painful end of his clan, empire and its descendants, a poignant Krishna departed from Dwarka for Prabhas Patan’s jungles. There he sat under a Ficus religiosa (peepal) tree in Yoga posture with his right leg over his left. <br><br> Mistaking Krishna to be a deer an archer, Zara, aimed an arrow at him and fatally injured him. Later realising his mistake he apologised to Krishna. Krishna then made him understand that it is not a mistake on his part, but he was paying off for his deeds of his last birth. <br><br> The place where Krishna was hurt by the arrow is now known as Bhalka Tirth. In Gujarati language the word ‘Bhall’ means an arrow and that is how this place is named Bhalka Tirth. This place is at 3-4 kilometres far from the Lord Shiva’s Somnath jyotirlinga. Bhalka Tirth also has a statue of Lord Krishna where he appears as Lord Vishnu holding conk, chakra, mace and padma in his four hands. <br><br> Lord Krishna appeared as Lord Vishnu to the archer Zara. The Ficus religiosa (peepal tree) under which Krishna was sitting and a Shivlinga are also present there. With Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva’s holy sites being present in close vicinity the place is also known as Hari Har kshetra (region). <br><br> According to the priest of the Bhalka Tirth, after Krishna was hit by the arrow he went to the confluence of rivers Hiranya, Kapila and Saraswati which is called the Prabhas Patan’s Triveni Sangam. With the course of time and geographic changes the Triveni confluence has slipped away from the place where Krishna started his journey to the Nijdham(personal abode). The footprints of Krishna are present even today at the place from where he left for the Baikunth Dham. <br><br> According to Bhagvad Gita and Vishnu Puran, Lord Krishna started his journey to Nijdham on the day of Chetra Shukal Pratipada. According to English calendar Krishna left his body for Vishnudham on February 18 of 3102 BC. <br><br> Many devotees visit this holy place to get a glimpse of Krishna’s footprints and take a holy dip in the nearby Hiranya River. In the close proximity to the Bhalka Tirth is situated another temple, Heeta mandir, which has a Krishna’s idol with his cow besides the teachings of Gita on its pillars. <br><br> The Triveni confluence is situated at some distance from Golok Dham, where people perform the last rites of their relatives and build mausoleum and chhatars in their memory. It is also considered a holy place for the pitar tarpan (prayer for the elder deceased in the family). <br><br> The maintenance of Golok Dham and the Triveni confluence come under the aegis of the Somnath temple trust as this is the place where Hari meets Har. <br><br> Following in Krishna’s footsteps his elder brother Balram also made his journey to Nijdham via same route. Golok Dham also has a cave of Balram which is said to be the same place from where he left for the Patal Lok. <br><br> Krishna and his elder brother Baldau had grown up together and enjoyed their childhood together. Both of them killed many demons together and seemed to be inseparable. Even in his last moments Baldau did not leave the company of his brother. <br><br> At a distance of about two kilometres from Somnath temple is the place from where Krishna embarked onto his journey to Nijdham. Baldau also left for the Patal Lok from the same place. <br><br> Baldau is considered to be an avatar of the Sheshnag, who serves as the bed for the Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Baldau departed from the world in his Sheshnag manifestation. Outside the cave stands his idol with a snake’s or head. <br><br> As per the priest of the cave the figure of a snake on the wall of the cave is the route from where Baldau made his journey to the Patal Lok. After visiting the site where Krishna’s footprints are located, devotees mostly proceed to pay their respects at Baldau’s cave also. <br><br> <b>Adaptation by: Abhishek</b>