This forest is called Baelvana or Bilvavan because, during Krishna’s manifest pastimes on this planet, there was an abundance of bael (bilva) trees here. While grazing the cows in this most captivating and pleasant forest, Sri Krishna and His cowherd friends would play different kinds of sports and relish the ripe bael fruits. This is also the place where Lakshmi devi is sitting, performing tapasya wanting to cross the Yamuna to enter the rasa leela. For this reason, this forest is also called Shri Van or the forest where Lakshmi devi is residing.
Once, Lakshmi devi heard a description from the mouth of Narada about Vrajendra-nandana Shri Krishna’s sweet rasa-leela and the good fortune of the Gopis. An eagerness to behold this rasa-leela arose in Lakshmi devi’s heart. No one but the Gopis has the qualification to enter rasa-leela, since they are the true emblem of undivided and pure prema (love of God). The Gopis have such unconditional and unmotivated love for Krishna that they are ready to do anything to please Krishna, to the extent that if by giving the dust of their feet, Krishna’s headache is relieved for even a moment then they are ready to give that dust even if they have to go to hell for such offence for the rest of eternity. But Lakshmi devi being the Goddess of fortune is not willing to do simple village chores like the Gopis such as picking up cow dung paddies, milk cows, churn butter etc. So Lakshmi devi can witness rasa-lila but she cannot cross the Yamuna to enter rasa mandala. In order to enter the rasa-lila Lakshmi began performing severe austerities at Bilvavan and to this day, She is performing austerities here with this desire. So, this is a very important place in Shri Braj dham where the ultimately supremacy of Braj lila, the supreme devotion of Gopis of Vrindavan is gloriously explained and proven.