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"Vrinda refers to Srimati Tulasi-devi. Because tulasi plants grow profusely in this forest, it has been named after her. Tulasi is very dear to Lord Krishna. "The word 'vana' means forest. Vrindavana is the name given to the forest where Srimati Vrinda-devi (Tulasi-devi) grows profusely." (Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya 17.193 purport) Vrinda devi is the presiding Deity of the forest of Vrindavana. She is an expansion of Radharani.

The forest of Vrindavana is the largest forest. It goes from the present city of Vrindavana to Nandagram and Varsana on one side and to Govardhana on the other side. This is the favourite forest of Krishna. It is the 12th forest of Braja Mandala and is considered the most auspicious. This forest extends 57 km (32 miles). Within this forest is Radha Kunda.

Within this forest Krishna performed the rasa dance with the beautiful gopis damsels of Vraja. In the evening, Krishna would come to the forest of Vrindavana and play His transcendental flute, thus calling all the beautiful gopis to come and enjoy the wonderful rasa-lila, the divine dance of love. Lord Krishna would then dance in spiritual ecstasy with hundreds of beautiful gopis, and each gopi would have the opportunity of personally dancing with Krishna. The gopis also exchanged intimate loving glances with Krishna and were embraced by the Lord to their hearts' content.

The rasa-mandala (place where the rasa dance was performed) has a parameter of 16 km (9 miles). It is a semicircle, with the Yamuna flowing on one side. Even though thousands of gopis were dancing with Krishna, Yogamaya arranges that they all fit in this small mandala (area).

"In Braja the land is divided into various vanas (forests). The forests total twelve, and their extension is estimated to be 84 krosas (168 miles). Of these, the special forest known as Vrindavana is located from the present municipal city of Vrindavana to the village called Nandagram." (Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 21.29 purport)

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