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Braj Dipavali lila: Gopis visit Gopal at the Hatari

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Vrindavan, 04.09.2018 

Hatari is celebrated on the same day as Diwali – the last day of the first half of Kartik month. It is a  lovely misa lila (accidently-on-purpose meeting) where the gopis come out of their homes bearing their little lamps so that they will be able to catch a glimpse of His astounding beauty face-to-face when ‘purchasing' some of His goodies with their currency of love and devotion.

The gopis approach His little hut in line, creating an enchanting “Dīpāvalī, with their line of lights. During this festival, in many Vaishnavas' homes you can see a tiny set of scales and weights next to Bal Gopal.

HATARI – Shri Thakurji's Shop

As the season gets colder and darker so the festivals of Vraja impart warmth and light for the Lord's comfort. Krishna wears warmer, brighter clothes and tiny oil lamps dispel the darkness.

Since loving exchange is the central theme of all the Vraja festivals (Utsav), new and seasonably suitable arrangements are always being made. The Hatari is a little hut arranged like a shop.

These are a few of the musical descriptions of the pastime:

Raga Kanharo

dipadana de hatari baithe nanda baba ke satha
nana vidha ke meva ana bantata apne hatha
vividha singara pahare pata bhusana
aura candana diya matha
nandadasa prabhu sagarina age
giri govardhana natha


Krishna lights all the little lamps and sits in the Hatari with His father Nanda Baba. He distributes with His own hands many kinds of sweets and dried fruits.  He is wearing many kinds of beautiful garments and jewels and His head is adorned with sandalwood paste. Nandadas' Lord is above all the Lord of Mount Govardhan, which nourishes the cows.

Raga Kanharo

hatari baithe srigopala
ratna jatita ki hatari banai
hira motina parama visala
dala dallaiyya aura kulaiya
bhara bhara dhare pakavana rasala
pana phula sondhe sahita saba
bantata de de nanda ke lala
ramavali premavali lalita
candravali brija mangala bala
calo sakhi jaham paintha lagi hai
becata hain janam gokula pala
saba sundari grha grhate aim
nirakhata naina visala
govinda prabhu priya cita coryo hai
bandhi prema ki pala

Gopal is sitting in the Hatari studded with diamonds and huge pearls. Inside are small and large baskets full of tasty foodstuffs. Nanda's boy distributes them all together with betal leaves, flowers and perfume oil. Rama-vali, Premävali, Lalitä and Chandra-vali; the lovely auspicious young girls of Vraja, say to each other, “Come on friend, lets go to the store where the Lord, the protector of Gokul, is a shopkeeper!” The beauties come from their homes, just to look at His lovely large eyes. Govindadas says, his Lord has stolen the minds of His darling and caught Her in the net of his love.

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