About-Parikramas

Parikrama is a Sanskrit word which means “to circumambulate.” Practitioners of Vedic culture are familiar with circumambulating the temple, deity, sacred fire during a sacrifice and a holy place. The devotee performs parikrama not only to purify himself, but also to imbibe the spiritual vibration of holy places, in order to develop detachment from the mundane world and attain attachment to the lotus feet of the Lord by rendering pure devotional service unto Him.The tradition of parikrama in the Gaudiya Sampradaya was exemplified by Lord Chaitanya, when He undertook Vraja mandal parikrama, during His visit to Vrindavan from Puri. Srila Bhaktisiddhantha Sarasvati Thakura also organized and conducted such parikramas of Vraja mandal and Navadvip mandal for large groups of devotees.

Dhama – the Abode of the Supreme Lord:
Dhama means the abode, or Kingdom of God. Dhama refers to a place where one can immediately contact the Supreme Lord, Krishna. Since the Supreme Lord is absolute, He is non-different from His abode.

 

The significance of holy places of pilgrimage

Places of pilgrimage yield a special advantage for a devotee in quickly advancing his spiritual life. Lord Krishna lives everywhere, but still it is very easy to approach Him in holy places of pilgrimage because these places are inhabited by great sages. Unless one is very advanced in spiritual life, it is recommended that he live in such holy places and execute devotional service there. In the material world, the Lord is situated in different arca murtis (Deities) in the temples just to decrease the material
activities of the conditioned soul and increase his spiritual activities. Particularly in India there are many temples throughout the country. Devotees may take advantage of them and go to see the Lord at Jagannatha Puri, Vrindavana, Prayaga, Mathura, Hardwar and Vishnu-kanci. When the devotees travel to these places and see the Lord, they become very happy in devotional service.

ISKCON Bangalore group has been organizing parikramas to Vraja Mandal, Navadweep and Puri Dham(Purushottama Kshetra).

Sri Vrindavana Dhama

There are many holy places of pilgrimage sanctified by the contact of the Supreme Lord and His pure devotees. But, the topmost of them all is Vrindavana. Sri Vrindavanadhama is non-different from Sri Krishna (tad-dhama vrindavanam) because at Vrindavana the Lord enjoys the transcendental bliss of His internal potency. The Vrindavana-dhama on this earth is a replica of that same abode.

Sri Navadweep – Mayapur Dham
Gaura Mandala is one hundred sixty-eight miles in circumference, with the Ganges running through the center. Gaura Mandala takes the form of a hundred-petaled lotus with Navadvipa in the center. Navadvipa is known as Audarya Dhama. The word audarya means magnanimity, generosity, and overflowing grace.

Sri Purushottama Kshetra (Jagannatha Puri)
The transcendental significance of Purushottama-kshetra, which is the eighty-square-mile field of Lord Jagannatha, cannot be properly described. Even the demigods from higher planetary systems see the inhabitants of this Jagannatha Puri as having exactly the same bodily features possessed by one in Vaikuntha. That is, the demigods see the inhabitants of Jagannatha Puri as being four-handed. Brahma Purana (quoted in Nectar of Devotion)

It is also stated in the scriptures that there are seven holy places that can grant liberation to those who visit them.

ayodhya mathura maya kasi kanci avantika
puri dvaravati caiva saptaite moksa dayakah

There are seven holy places that grant liberation: Ayodhya, Mathura, Mayapura, Kashi, Kanchi, Ujjain, Jagannatha Puri and Dvaraka.