Vrindavan, 2016.12.24 (VT): Among the winter festivals of Vraja, the Belvan Mela (fair) holds an important place. Thousands of people from across Vraja are visiting Belvan on every Thursday in the month of Pausa, to have darshan of Mahalaxmi in deep meditation.
Belvan is situated in Jehangirpur village across the Yamuna in Vrindavan. The temple of Mahalaxmi is the core of attraction of the festival. Devotees gather in the temple and sang various songs in praise of the Goddess.
The annual fair of Belvan is held on the Thursdays in the month of Pausha (December – January). People gather in the Laxmi Temple of the Bevan to worship the Goddess of wealth on every Thursday of this holy month. Devotees from the distant villages of Vraja and the surrounding districts come here to pay their respect to the Goddes who is in deep meditation to participate in the Maharasa of Shri Krishna.
According to Shrimad Bhagvatam Lakshmi Devi is sitting, performing meditation to cross the Yamuna to enter the Rasa Lila. Once, Lakshmi Devi heard a description from Narada about Shri Krishna’s Rasa Lila with the Gopis. An eagerness to behold this Rasa Lila arose in Lakshmi Devi’s heart.
When she tried to enter Vrindavan to relish the Rasalila, she was stopped as no one is qualified to enter in Rasa lila except the Gopis, since they are the symbol of true love.
Gopis had such unconditional and unmotivated love for Krishna that they were ready to do anything to please Krishna, to the extent that if by giving the dust of their feet, Krishna’s headache was relieved for even a moment then they were ready to give that dust even if they had to go to hell for such offence for the rest of eternity.
But Lakshmi Devi, being the Goddess of fortune was not willing to do simple village chores like the Gopis such as picking up the cow dung paddies, milk cows, churn butter etc. Therefore, Lakshmi Devi stayed in Belvan, but couldn’t cross the Yamuna to enter Rasa Mandala. In order to enter the Rasa Lila Lakshmi began performing sever austerities at Belvan and to this day she is performing austerities here with this desire.
Devotees offered bhog to the Goddess and distributed the prasad among the people present there. Women make swastika with Gobar (cow dung), to seek the well being of their families.
While celebrating the Goddess of wealth, devotees used the event as picnic where they prepare Khichdi, in which everyone in the group participate in cooking. Later everyone enjoyed the Kichdi prasad together.