Yogmaya temple is the birthplace of Balarama, the elder brother of Lord Krishna and some believe this to be the birthplace of Yogamaya, the sister of Lord Krishna. This is a quiet place and not many visitors come here.
Inside the temple, there is an idol of Yashoda, the mother of Lord Krishna on the right and that of Nanda Rai on the left. At the centre is an idol of Yogamaya. At the back is a black idol of Balarama. In front of Yogamaya is an idol of Lord Krishna playing His flute. The idols look very colourful adorned in red clothes. This is one of those rare temples where the idol of Lord Balarama is bigger than that of Lord Krishna. The reason for giving prominence to Lord Balarama could be the fact that this happens to be His birth place.
History of Yogmaya Temple
History of Yogmaya Temple is dealing with the mythological stories related to Lord Krishna. In the mythological story, there the father of Lord Krishna, Vasudeva had reached Gokul, the birth place of Lord Krishna. He walked stealthily through the by lanes of the town and reached Nanda's house. He stepped inside and goes into the room where Yashoda was sleeping. Yashoda had just given birth to a baby girl. The girl was no ordinary child. She was Goddess Yogamaya.
Kansa is very keen to have a look at his future assassinator. Devaki told him that a girl child will kill him and from that Kansa engaged in killing the girl child. But he failed. He tried to fling the girl child on the hard ground. However, on a night of miracles, there was one more. The Infant escaped from his clutches and soars into the dark sky. She stopped in mid-air and changes into Her real Self as Goddess Yogamaya, with eight arms and is seated on a tiger. One of the hands holds the divine discus and the other holds the conch. She also holds a sword, club, and lotus in her other arms. She was decorated with garlands made of celestial flowers, dressed in bright red garments and her neck was adorned with gems and jewels. She was surrounded by celestial beings who are worshipping Her.
Importance of Yogamaya
From that time Yogamaya is considered to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga. She played an important role in life of Lord Krishna. It is believed that She was instrumental in transferring Balarama from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini. Later, when Krishna was born, she put the prison guards to sleep and removed the shackles from Vasudev's legs which enabled him to leave the prison in Mathura and go to Gokul.
Goddess Yogamaya was born to Yashoda on the same night as Lord Krishna. When Vasudev reached, Nanda's house, he exchanged Krishna with Yogamaya and took the latter to Mathura. When Kansa tried to kill Yogamaya, She slipped from his hands and soared into the sky.
Due to this mythological folklore, the people in Brij Bhoomi or Mathura revere Yogamaya as much as Radha and Lord Krishna. In every place in Mathura there are the temples of Goddess Yogmaya.