The birds, the Lata-Pata, (Trees, Flora, Fauna), the Ruj, (sands) the Bhumi, (land), Shri Yamunaji; are a reminder of the sacred play thousands of years back, on this earth. Though Shree RadhaKrishn were here more than 5200 years back and ShreeNathji about 600 years, bhakts yet flock on this pavitra bhumi to touch and be touched by RadhaKrishn Prem.
Shree RadhaKrishn leelas always happened in the Vans – never in any built up places.
So the real ‘Ras’- the essence of Divine Prem (Love) and sacred leelas are in the open, around the ‘divine nature- Vans’ of Vrindavan Mandal.

Unplanned and illegal construction is fast destroying all original open spaces. Looking at the way us humans have encroached on all the divine leela sthalis, who knows? Very soon there may not be much left of the sacred Vans on this pavitra bhumi.
When that happens, out of compulsion you will have to restrict darshans to some mandir which may also have become ‘empty’ by then. It would be just the structure standing with ‘empty’ stone Idols, because there is no ‘Soul-Urja-Shakti’ any more.
The pictures you see here are memories collected from all over Vraj Mandal. I try to merge myself in the Ras and mystery of Shri Vrindavan, in hope of being touched with divine prem.
As I joyfully walk around the various leela sthalis and on the various Parikrama maargs, I faithfully carry a camera with me always.
(But of course, I have lost many a picture opportunity when confronted with the naughty monkey gangs, when walking around many areas of Vraj, who are a big nuisance, trying to snatch whatever from you with the greed for food).

Peacocks… witness to Shree RadhaKrishn leelas:

The peacocks are a very intimate part of the Divine Shree RadhaKrishn leela. In some way they might belong to the generations of peacocks whose ancestors would have been a witness to Shree Radha and Shree Krishn leelas on this pavitra bhumi thousands of years ago
This is also an appeal to all, not to kill these beautiful birds for recreation or meat. They are as close to Shree RadhaKrishn as Their beloved sacred Cows!
Some of these photographs look as if straight out from an old time KrishnRadha painting.

I have always been enchanted with them and over a period of some years, during my many yatras there (apart from time spent in my sadhana), I have been able to do some photography as seen in these pictures. Peacocks are by nature very shy and hide away from intruders, I feel fortunate to have been able to catch them in the very natural surroundings. Unfortunately due to unplanned development in the holy Vraj Mandal and with an increase of the monkey population in the surroundings, these beautiful peacocks have dramatically reduced in number.
Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I have been delighted to photograph and present them before you.

Peacocks are found all over India and the world. But never do I remember being so attracted to them at any other place except at Vraj Mandal. The only peacocks that do touch my soul are here only on this pavitra bhumi, as I watch them running through the pure white sands, or fly on the very old Kadamb trees. The compulsion to follow them is experienced only at Vraj Mandal.
All writing and photography by Abha Shahra Shyama
Copyright © 2014 Abha Shahra Shyama. All rights reserved.