Madhuvana – the Honey Forest

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One of the most beautiful forests, Madhuvana is among the 12 principal forests of Braj to be recreated at Krishna Bhumi, Vrindavan. The forest got its name from the sweetest honey that is said to have been found here in the most nectarine bee hives of the Kalpavriksha trees that covered the entire forest. The Supreme Godhead is said to have personally appeared in Madhuvana in every Yuga. In Satya Yuga, the Lord appeared here as Prshni-Garbha. In Treta Yuga, as Shatrughana, the brother of Lord Rama. In Dwapar Yuga, the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna personally appeared, while in Kali Yuga, as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu.

In Satya Yuga, Mathura Puri was called Madhu Puri because as it was ruled by a demon called Madhu. According to Shrimad Bhagvatam, the five year old son of Maharaj Uttanpada, Dhruva, came to Madhuvana on the advice of Shrila Narada Muni. Here he performed severe austerities on the bank of river Yamuna, constantly worshipping the Supreme Lord, who finally appeared to him as Prishni-Garbha, fulfilling all his innermost desires. There is a temple of Dhruva and Narayana in Madhuvana even today.

In Treta Yuga, Mathura or Madhu Puri was being ruled by the wicked and atrocious son of the demon Madhu named Lavanasura. The sages of Madhuvan, who were terrified by Lavanasura went to Lord Rama in Ayodhya seeking protection. It was at this time that the youngest brother of Lord Rama named Shatrughana came forward to kill the demon. Lord Rama immediately declared Shatrughana as the King of Madhu Puri, who then prompted Lavanasura for a fight. After a fierce battle Shatrughana was finally able to cut off his head, killing him. After that Shatrughana reigned as the King of this Madhu Puri. There is a temple of Shatrughana as well in Madhuvan.

In the Dwapar Yuga, the Supreme Lord appeared in Madhuvana as Lord Krishna. As the cowherd boy Gopal, He would take hundreds of thousands of cows out to graze the forest of Madhuvan with his elder brother Shri Balaram and all his cowherd friends. In Madhuvan, while grazing the Cows, Krishna along with Balaram and his friends would enjoy the sweet honey produced in the most nectarine bee hives of the Kalpavriksha trees. Madhuvan is also famous for the Madhu Kunda also known as Krishna Kunda, where Lord Krishna would perform Rasa Leela and several other sweet pastimes with the Gopis of Braj. He would also have His cows drink the cool nectarine waters of Madhu Kunda.

In the Kali Yuga, the Supreme Lord is said to have appeared as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He came to Braj some five hundred fifty years ago and wandered through the forest of Madhuvana with Nityananda Prabhu and his other followers. While doing so, the divine pastimes of Shri Shri Radha Krishna overwhelmed Him with ecstasy.

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