Vrindavan, December 12, 2014: The Belvan Mela, one of the traditional fair of Vraj, began in the Jehangirpur village across the Yamuna River in Vrindavan. The Devotees gathered in the Mahalaxmi Temple sang various hymns and songs in praise of the Goddess Laxmi. The annual fair of Belvan is held on the Thursdays in the month of Pausha (December – January).
The devotees gather in the Laxmi Temple of the Belvan to worship the Goddess of wealth on every Thursday of this holy month. People from distant villages of Vraja and the surrounding districts come here to pay their respect to the Goddess who is in deep meditation to participate in the Maharas of Shri Krishna.
According to Shrimad Bhagvatam Lakshmi Devi is sitting, performing meditation to cross the Yamuna to enter the Raas leela. Once, Lakshmi Devi heard a description from Narada about Shri Krishna’s Ras leela with the Gopis. An eagerness to behold this Raas Leela arose in Lakshmi Devi’s heart.
When she tried to enter Vrindavan to relish the Raaslila, she was stopped as no one is qualified to enter in Raas lila except the Gopis, sine they are the sign of the 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 cow dung paddies, milk cows, churn butter etc. So Lakshmi Devi stayed in Belvan, but couldn’t cross the Yamuna to enter Rasa Mandala. In order to enter the Raas Lila Lakshmi began performing severe 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. Bhandaras (feasts) are organized in a dozen of places, where anyone one can have free meal.
People who visited Belvan on the first Thursday appreciated the administration and police for maintaining law and order. The devotees were also happy for the one way traffic system which effectively controlled the flow of the devotees to the temple shrine.
While celebrating the Goddess of wealth, devotees used the event as picnic where they prepared khichdi where all the members of the group participated in cooking. Later everyone enjoyed the khichdi prasadam together. This place is called Belvan because of the abundance of Bel (vilva) trees here during Krishna’s time. While grazing the cows in this forest, Shri Krisna and his friends would play different kind of sports and relish ripe bel fruits.