Yesterday, lakhs of people came to see the abhishek and shobhyatra (auspicious procession) in honour of Banke Bihariji’s appearance day. An abhishek was held in the early morning hours at the place where Bihariji appeared, proceeded by aarti and a procession from Nidhivan to Bihariji temple.
The procession made its way through the streets of Vrindavan’s market place, showering auspiciousness on all. Thousands danced and sang popular Bihariji bhajans as well as music composed by Swami Haridas. People from across North India, foreigners, villagers and Vrindavan locals followed the procession with great joy, losing themselves in the music of Bihariji.
People from far and wide proclaim that Vrindavan’s Banke Bihari is special. There are many stories of miracles surrounding Bihariji and, it is said that Bihariji appeared to fulfil the desire of Haridasji, who only wished that more people could experience the joy of absorption in Thakurji’s lilas.
Bihariji appeared in Nidhivan, the place of Radha-Krishna’s ras lila. Swami Haridas would sit in Nidhivan and become completely absorbed in intricate classical melodies. While Haridas was playing and composing music, Radha-Krishna danced before his eyes. Despite his enjoyment and complete absorption in playing music for Radha Krishna, Swami Haridas realized that not everyone could experience Thakurji through music. He wanted that more people could have a tangible experience of Sri Krishna’s most attractive form, so, he wished for a special, most attractive Thakurji. To fulfil Haridas’ desire and give darshan to as many people as possible, a combined form of Radha Krishna appeared in the form of the deity Banke Bihari.
The curtains of Bihariji are constantly opened and closed because the strength of the attraction between Thakurji and His devotee is said to be too strong for either to withstand.
Yesterday, Rajbhog Prasad and sweets were distributed to devotees after the Rajbhog (midday) aarti. In the evening, devotees followed the Swami Haridas float back to Nidhivan for the closing of this year’s Bihari Jayanti festival.