An Institute of Indian Heritage
Vraj at a Glance
Founded in 1988 on the doctrine of Love, Dedication, Devotion and Servitude, VRAJ is a place of pilgrimage for an average of 100,000 Hindus a year.
Nootan Nandalaya (Temple), an abode for God ShriNathji (a manifestation of God Krishna), is built on a 300 acres of bountiful land of VRAJ surrounded by the grandeur of the hills and the accentuated with the tranquility of the wooded valleys and the serenity of the lush green meadows. This spellbinding natural ambience augments the spellbinding beauty of the Haveli (Temple) that is situated on the bank of Chandra Sarovar (lake), in the rich tradition of the royal Rajasthani architectural mystique. Haveli is 60 feet tall, three stories high and has over 50,000 sq. feet of built-up area.
VRAJ, an Institute of Indian Heritage, is a prominent Religious-Spiritual-Social-Cultural center for all Hindus in addition to being the foremost bastion of PushtiBhaktiMarg (Hinduism’s Path of ‘Bliss through Love-Devotion’) in the Western World. Hindus of all faiths come to experience not only the spiritual serenity uniquely bestowed over VRAJ, but also to celebrate their cultural and social events.
Founding Members of VRAJ earnestly believed that in today’s world it has become imperative for any temple to transform itself into an establishment that facilitates an integration of society’s Religious, Spiritual, Social and Cultural needs of the time. Keeping up with the changing world, VRAJ has evolved into an institution bridging the gap between the diverse needs of the Hindu community settled in North America.
To bring together the Hindu Youth, to educate them about the Indian heritage and to pass on to them the traditional value system of India, VRAJ organizes summer Youth Camps (www.vrajyouth.org) year after year in addition to sustaining several youth oriented activities round the year.
VRAJ’s willingness to actively support humanitarian causes such as the Rescue-Rebuild-Rehabilitate efforts in the event of natural disasters has benefited many communities. VRAJ provided timely financial assistance to the earthquake victims of Latur (Maharastra, India) in 1996 and of Kutch (Gujarat, India) in 2001, to the Tsunami victims of Tamilnadu, India and to the victims of hurricane Katrina (New Orleans, USA) in 2005.
Well maintained lodging, boarding, cafeteria facilities in VRAJ Campus can accommodate over 200 devotees who may stay at VRAJ for a day, a week or a month.
Several picnic areas on the grounds of VRAJ Campus offer excellent opportunities to Hindu social groups for organizing their gatherings in the natural environment away from the hustle-bustle of the cities.
Vraj : The Heritage
Not withstanding the popular belief by many Hindus and almost all non-Hindus that Hinduism has many Gods and Goddesses, “The Vedas” (the most ancient scriptures of the entire mankind) declare that ‘There is only ONE GOD (The ParBrahm) who is perceived and worshipped in many forms by various sages and seers.’ “The Vedas” further declare that Bhagvan ShriKrishna is The ParBrahm (Parmatma) Himself. Bhagvan ShriKrishna, known to all Hindus as “Loving God” manifested, in His full form, as ShriGovardhanNathji (ShriNathji) over 500 years ago. Hinduism scriptures declare that ParBrahm also manifested as JaganNath, RangNath, DwarkaNath and BadriNath. In the holy land of India, these four Gods dwell in four directions and the Gods’ God Shri GovardhanNathji dwells in the center at NathDwara (Rajasthan, India).
Bhagvan ShriKrishna in the form of ShriNathji dwells in the Pennsylvania state of United State of America for the benefit of His devotees of North America.
Blessed and Endorsed, in 1988, by the Prime Pontiff of PushtiBhaktiMarg(A Hinduism Tradition), HDH Pradhan Pithadhishwar Goswami Tilkayat 108 Shri Govindlalji Maharajshri of NathDwara, VRAJ’s ShriNathji Temple is the second such temple in the entire world, next only to the 250 years old ShriNathji Temple in NathDwara (Rajasthan,India).
Vraj: The Philosophy
Bhagvan ShriKrishna’s manifestation Shri GovardhaNathji was introduced to His devotes by JagadGuru Shrimad Vallabhacharyaji (Shri MahaPrabhuji).
Shrimad Vallabhacharyaji, also known as Shri MahaPrabhuji, was a renowned Spiritual Guru, an eminent Philosopher and a celebrated Scholar of Hinduism in 15th century India. He appeared on this earth in 1479 AD (on the eleventh day of the second half of the month of Chaitra in the year 1535 Vikram Samvat) and stayed on this earth until 1531 AD.
Based on His understanding of The Vedas, The BrahmaSutras, The Bhagvad Geeta and Shrimad Bhagvat, He evolved the philosophy Love-Devotion and institutionalized PushtiBhaktiMarg – a path of devotion through selfless Love for ShriKrishna.
During His life of 52 years, He wrote treatises and commentaries on scriptures of Hinduism as well as many scholarly books.
Shrimad Vallabhacharyaji (‘Vallabh’ means ‘Beloved’) is the GURU who showed us the way of love-filled devotion to experience Bhagvan ShriKrishna.
His descendents, known as ‘GuruDwar’ – A Gateway to The Guru Shri MahaPrabhuji, has been guiding the followers of PushtiBhaktiMarg for the past 500 years.
PushtiBhaktiMarg is a specific way of practicing the Hinduism and so no different then Hinduism. Hinduism believes in One God but prescribes many paths that lead to The Supreme God. PushtiBhaktiMarg is one such path (method) of Hinduism.
PushtiBhaktiMarg means …….
Pushti means Support, Encouragement
Bhakti means Love filled Devotion
Marg means Path, Method
- It is a Path leading to Parmatma ShriKrishna (ShriNathji).
- It is a path to experience ShriKrishna’s love.
- It is a path that teaches a devotee how to completely surrender to ShriNathji.
- It is a path that teaches a devotee how to have total faith in ShriNathji.
- It is a path that teaches a devotee how to offer selfless love and devotion only to ShriNathji, without seeking anything but His Love in return.
- It is a path that promises that devotees’ efforts shall be sustained by ShriNathji Himself.
- It is a path that promises that ShriNathji shall favor (Grace)
- all those who shall come to Him.
- It is a path that is popularly known as ‘Path of Grace’.