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Welcome to Shri Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan

Sharad Poornima

As we all know this day or rather this night is remembered by Brijwasis as the night of Maharas, Shri Bihariji Maharaj decorates himself in the Maharas posture. In the afternoon of this day the jagmohan (i.e. the elevated hall in front of sanctum sanctorum) is decorated to give a forest like look by putting up branches of flowering trees. A silver hut is placed in the centre to serve as the throne. Entire temple courtyard is also tastefully decorated with banana trees, vandanvars, flowers and hangings.

 

Evening Darshan on this day is very special. If you are called on this day you will find Bihariji is looking different! Everybody may not be able to note these differences and understand the significance, hence we would try to explain them here. First of all Bihariji will move out of his usual place to come close to you in the jagmohan in a forest like ambience.

 

Second special thing is He will be dressed in all whites. The dark Lord in a dazzling white dress, complete with intricate zari work sets the mood for Maharas!

 

Only on this evening you will find murali, the flute, in the hands and on the lips of Bihariji Maharaj. On all other days the flute is just kept at the throne on the right side along with the small water container. Remember the effect the flute had on brijwasis particularly the gopis? The all charming celestial sound that comes out of Krishna’s flute takes over the individual consciousness of all living beings and they are all attracted to Krishna consciousness! Shrimadbhagvatm (tenth skandh, chapter 29, Venugeet, verse 6) says:

 

Iti venu ravm rajan sarva bhoot manoharam|

Shrutva vrajstriyah sarvaa varnayantyo bhirebhire||

 

Shri Shukdev says: O king Parikshit, this sound produced by the flute is capable of stealing the mind of all beings. On hearing this sound all the ladies of brij, gopis, started talking about the attributes of Krishna. While talking they discovered Krishna and started embracing him.

So, today, once again the flute is on the lips of Shri Bankey Bihari ji Maharaj!

 

When you come out of the trance of venunad, the sound of flute, look what He is wearing on head? It is different. Of course there is the usual pag, i.e. the turban tied in its unique style with the strings of pearls. But the crown is unusual. Today he will be wearing a crown similar to that of Shri Srinathji. Scroll down to view the paintings of Shri Bihariji and Shri Srinathji so as to understand the difference in the two crowns. On left you see Shri Bihariji displaying his usual crown, known as tipara, with lots of designs and cuts, devoid of a smooth outline. On right you see Shri Srinathji whose crown displays a smooth outline with a lot of intricate designs inside, known as mukut. According to legends this mukut was designed by Shri Vallabhcharya, Swami Haridas and other contemporary saints for Shri Krishna. Afterwards the same mukut was adopted as standard for stage performance of rasleela. Whenever you witness a rasleela performance you always see Krishna having the same mukut.

 

Shri Banke Bihariji Maharaj         Shreenathji

 

That is to say, today Bihariji dresses up as Lord Krishna all set to cast the spell by His murali, the flute.

 

Moon is granted a very special favour to touch the feet of Shri Bihariji today. As you may be knowing Bihariji stands in west looking to east and the moon rises in east on Poornima day. The shutters on the grill covering courtyard are moved out so as to permit the moonlight in. Darshan in this evening remain open till such time the moonlight reaches the feet of Shri Bihariji. The moon thus blessed, is believed to spread the blessings all over by its rays. Therefore devout Hindus all over make it a point to prepare kheer, the payasam, in the evening and keep in the moonlight till around midnight and then it is distributed as Prasad.

 

Jai Shri Swami Haridas! Jai Shri Kunjbihari !!



Festival Significance : Day of Maha Raas
Festival Date (Hindu Calender) : Ashwin Shukla Poornima
Festival Date (English Calender) : Thu, 05 Oct 2017


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