Monday, May 27, 2019

Brief Description of Jhulan Yatra

A pastime of Srimati Radharani and Sri Krishna's:
As stated Jhulan-yatra is very dear to Krsna, He likes it very much. Now from another perspective you will see why !!! From a cultural perspective in India during this period, all daughters go to their father's house to stay there for some days and enjoy the swing festival - a custom celebrated even up to this day.
Every year Srimati Radharani used to go to Varshana to her parents' house and have a very nice time there with her Gopi friends and Krsna, whom She could freely meet (because Jotila and Kotila were not around).
One time Radharani was waiting for her brother Sridam to come and take her to her fathers' house. She was waiting, waiting, and waiting, but there was no sign of Sridam and She became so sad. One day a person from Varsana was there. She asked the man to ask her father, "Why have they have forgotten Me?" She then started to cry bitterly. The person went to Varshana and told Vrsabhanu Maharaja about the condition of his daughter. Hearing this news, Vrishabhanu Maharaja immediately sent Sridam to Varshana to get Radharani.
Srimati Radharani's Mother Kirtida packed many presents for Jotila to send with Sridam, knowing that if she did not do this, Jotila, being harsh of character sometimes would not send Srimati Radharani to Varshana.
Meanwhile, day and night Srimati Radharani was staring at the road coming from Varshana. One day, She saw Sridam and when he finally arrived at the front gate they embraced each other. She was weeping, "Oh brother you had forgotten Me?; My father and mother too?; Everyone forgot Me?"
At first Jotila refused to let Srimati Radharani go. "No no, She cannot go. She has so much work to do here, and there is so much danger there because of that black boy. She cannot go." Then Sridam gave Jotila all the presents given by Kirtida ma. Seeing this, she said, "Alright, she can go, but only for a few days."
"Then Srimati Radharani and Sridam went on a cart pulled by four bullocks to Varshana. Seeing the palace of her parents on the hilltop, feeling great happiness Radharani started weeping and even more weeping when She saw Her father and mother face to face.
At that time Jhulan-yatra had already started and Srimati Radharani started swinging with Her sakhis (friends) during periods in the day and night, but She was not satisfied alone, without Krsna there. 
Knowing this, Krsna sometimes came in disguise to the palace. Sometimes He dressed as a Gopi selling bangles or beautiful garlands. Or He appeared in any other form and made an appointment for Them to meet each other somewhere in a very secret place in the forest.
Once, Srimati Radharani was seated on the Jhulan and Krsna was pushing the swing very gently. Suddenly Krsna put so much force in pushing the swing that Srimati Radharani became fearful and started crying out, "O Krsna, save Me, save Me!" That transcendental trickster Sri Krsna climbed on the swing and She firmly embraced Him, giving Him so much pleasure. Why so much pleasure? Because normally He has to do so many tricks so that Radharani will embrace Him, but in this instance She embraced Him out of Her own will, without much effort on His part. Therefore He is so fond of these swing pastimes.
Some meditations on Sri Jhulan Yatra in Sri Vrindavan Dham.
The Jhulan time is very intense. In general the Shravana masha have an exceptional mood, it is raining all the time, Yamuna Mayi became very wide, flooded and there is a fresh atmosphere for devotees who move daily to worship and take the lila-darshan which is performed in diverse temples in Vrindavan. As an example, in Jai Sing Geera, the lilas are performed during the whole week: every morning Gauranga-lila and at the evening Krishna-lila's theatre is played.
Devotees tell that some time ago a king, who was a great devotee of Sri Radha-Raman used to came to Vrindavan in the Shravana month to assist that performances which started out of his own desire. The rasa-lilas and theatre performance of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu and Sri Krishna lilas was very dear to him and surely to Sri Radha Krishna also because since that time it now takes place as a yearly event.
In each of Vrindavans' temples a wonderful swing-kunja is to be found, each with singular features along with the swinging mood and the always happy "Jay Sri Radhe! Jay Sri Radhe!" There took place also the golden swing darshan of Sri Banka Bihari ji, which occurs once yearly. It happen the first day of Jhulan in which streets are completely crowded, any vehicles, like cars, even Auto-rickshaws transit is very much restricted and Rikshaws can move only in the main roads. Some devotees wait until the midnight special aratis to get darshan because during the day it's just ridiculous to try and get in with the hundreds of thousands of villages who descend on Vrindavan township to be absorbed in this wonderful festival.
There's a good business made by devotees engaged in making the huge amounts of garlands that are used in all the temples, by all the devotees wanting to offer garlands, and to decorate the temples and Jhulan(s) during the whole week. It's a perfect example how everyone benefits, both economically - financially, socially, spiritually etc., simply by rendering some simple service for the pleasure of the Lord. 

Vast amounts of prasadam is cooked and offered to the Deities, and sold for a small donation; the hotels, dharmshallas, guest-houses etc, Rickshaws, taxis, everyone, all are happy and satisfied knowing that simply by serving the Lord, the root of everything all their needs will be taken care of. 

Jaya Sri Radha Krishna!

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