Vrindavan 2016.08.06: The fortnight long ‘Swing festival’ has begun with Hariyali Teej in Vrindavan (the third day after Amavasya in Sawan month), when most of the Vrindavan temples bring the ‘Lordships of Vrindavan’ out from the garbha griha or sanctum sanctorum to the Jagmohan and placed the deities on swings made of gold, silver, and the finest most durable wood.
The deities are dressed up in intricately designed clothes and accessories such as garlands, flute, anklets, and crowns and so on. Jhulan Yatra commemorates the romance of Shri Krishna with His Divine Consort Radha Rani, sitting on the swing in the forests of Vrindavan during the monsoon season. Traditional singing of songs and dance escalates the verve of Hariyali Teej celebration in temples of Radha Raman and Radha Ballabh.
The specific occasion of Hariyali Teej attracted thousands of people from around the country to Vrindavan as Thakur Banke Bihari was adorned in brilliance and placed in a golden swing studded with jewels. Thakur Banke Bihari ji Maharaj came out adorned a green dress, studded with diamonds, gold, silver and sapphires. His crown was also made of gold with diamond studded on it.
Temples remained open till late at night to facilitate darshan for the eager devotees.
Thakur Ji’s bed during the Hariyali Teej celebration
Thakur Bankey Bihari Ji came out to ride on his gold and silver swing at around 6 pm to give darshan to his ecstatic devotees who could not stop calling out “Banke Bihari ki jay!” The joyful roar continued almost non stop until midnight when he finally took rest.
Sewayats dressed Thakur Ji in green clothes, adorned with precious stones like diamonds, gold and sapphire. His diamond-studded crown was made of gold. His bed was decorated with flowers and green leaves to give it a natural look.
Sewayat Mayank Goswami said that the temple follows traditions that were started by Swami Haridas Ji centuries ago. He said that Swamiji used to provide a golden swing to Thakur Bankey Bihari while singing bhajan for him. Since then, his followers also follow the same tradition so that Thakur Ji can enjoy the festival and Jhulan Yatra.
Hariyali Teej celebration at Shree ji Temple, Barsana
Hariyali Teej celebration at Shree Ji temple, Barsana
The Shree Ji temple at Barsana celebrated the festival by organising a swing in the temple courtyard. Ladli Ji along with Lord Krishna swung in it for hours while giving darshan to devotees. Ladli Ji came out yesterday evening and gave darshan to her devotees while wearing a green dress decorated with gold and diamonds. Sewayats also organised “chappan bhoga” for visiting devotees, right after which Ladli Ji came out to give darshan in a swing decorated with flowers and green leaves.
Hariyali teej celebrations at Saptdevalay
Hariyali Teej celebration at Radha Raman (Photo: Prawal Saxena)
Saptdevalay viz. Radha Damodar, Radha Shyam Sundar, Radha Raman, Radha Gopinath, Radha Gokulanand, Radha Madan Mohan and Radha Govind Dev celebrated the in the traditional way by organising a gold-silver swing for their respective Thakur Ji. The celebration started at evening when Thakur Ji came to give darshan to devotees who arrived in the city from around the world.
Hariyali Teej celebration at Radha Shyam Sundar (Photo: Prawal Saxena)
A special arati was performed to Thakur Radha Raman and other Sapta Devalaya Temples, accompanied by melodious kitans sung by devotees in the temple. In many temples the devotees patiently waited in a queue to swing their adored. The songs and hymns were sung in the Sapta Devalaya Temples.
At home the Brajwasis women wore green coloured clothes like lehenga, suits and sarees. They wore green bangles and adorn hands with beautiful mehandi patterns. Women both married and unmarried enjoyed the festive spirit by swinging on the adorned swings, singing songs relating to the month of ‘Sawan’. Various delicious food items are cooked which was relished by their family members.