Thursday, August 7, 2014


FESTIVAL OF KRISHNA AND RADHA - Jhulan Yatra is one of the most important festivals for the followers of Lord Krishna celebrated in the monsoon month of Shravan. After Holi and Janmashthami, it is the biggest and most popular religious occasion of the Vaishnavas. Known for its spectacular display of decorated swings, song and dance, Jhulan is a joyful festival celebrating the Radha-Krishna amour coupled with the romantic fervor of the rainy season in India.
Jhulan Yatra has been inspired from the swing pastimes of Krishna and his consort Radha during their fable romance in the idyllic pastoral groves of Vrindavan, where the divine lovers along with their cowherd friends and 'gopis' took part in joyful swinging in the cool monsoon season.

Jhulan Yatra has its origins in the major Krishna legends and literature such as the Bhagavata Purana, the Harivamsa, and the Gita Govinda, and the metaphor of the swing of the monsoon or 'Sawan Ke Jhuley' have since been used by poets and songwriters to describe the romantic feeling that permeates the rainy season in the Indian subcontinent. 
The popular Krishna literature Hari Bhakti Vilasa (Performance of Devotion to Hari or Krishna) mentions Jhulan Yatra as part of the various festivals dedicated to Krishna: "…the devotees serve the Lord during the summer by placing Him on the boat, taking Him out on a procession, applying sandalwood on His body, fanning Him with chamara, decorating Him with jeweled necklaces, offering Him palatable foodstuffs, and bringing Him out to swing Him in the pleasant moonlight."

Jhulan Yatra is one of the most sweetest and popular festival which is inspired from the swing pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Krishna in Vrindavan. Lord Krishna along with His consort Sri Radha and cowherd friends in Vrindavan swing in the monsoon season with much joy. It starts on the Tritya (third day) of the bright fortnight of Sravana (July-Aug) and lasts until the full moon night of the month, called Shravan Purnima. Subhamoy Das, author of the article, says that Srila Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON, prescribed the following rituals to honor Krishna on Jhulan Yatra: During these five days the deities' clothes should be changed daily, a nice prasad (food offering) be distribution, and sankirtan (group singing) should be performed. A throne may be constructed on which the deities (Radha and Krishna) can be placed, and swayed gently with accompanying music. This is a new chance the Lord gives us to gather around Him and His eternal consort, perform arati rituals, prepare delicious food offerings for the divine couple, dance and sing with devotion chantings such as 'Hare Krishna Mahamantra,' 'Jaya Radhe, Jaya Krishna,' 'Jaya Vrindavan,' 'Jaya Radhe, Jaya Jaya Madhava'. This is also an opportunity to read or listen inspirational lectures and messages about the importance of living a devotional life with a joyful attitude; and thus, by His mercy, take part in the joyous pastimes of the Lord with His eternal beloved and His loving associates, the gopis and gopas. (Editor's note).

To have a look at the Lord is a great festive occasion undoubtedly, as it was considered by the metropolitan ladies of Dvārakā. This is still followed by the devout ladies of India. Especially during the days of the Jhulana and Janmāṣṭamī ceremonies, the ladies of India still throng up in the greatest number at the temple of the Lord, where His transcendental eternal form is worshiped. The transcendental form of the Lord installed in a temple is not different from the Lord personally. Such a form of the Lord is called arca-vigraha, or arcā incarnation, and is expanded by the Lord by His internal potency just to facilitate the devotional service of His innumerable devotees who are in the material world. [...] Therefore, festivities in the temple of the Lord, as held generally, are like festivals performed during the manifestive days of the Lord of Dvārakā, about five thousand years ago.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Srimad-Bhagavatam - SB 1.11.24 
Canto 1:"Creation" - Chapter Eleven: 
Lord Krishna's Entrance into Dvārakā - Text 24

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"


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