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Akshay Navmi

Akshyay means inexhaustible or something that does not decay, does not perish, or in more simple words you do not suffer any loss on account of it. We have a festival in the name of Akshyay Tritiya celebrated on vaishakh shukla tritiya and another festival in a similar name of Akshyay Navami almost after six months of the earlier that is celebrated on Kartik Shukla Navami ie on ninth day of second (bright) fortnight of the month Kartik. According to the Puranas, Treta Yuga began from this day. Also on this day Sun God worshipped Durga and was in return awarded with unlimited gifts possibly in the form of solar properties which are now so beneficial to mankind. The main characteristics which lends the epithet `Akshyay' or Indestructible to this day is that gifts bestowed on this particular day continue to bear blessings for ever. The day is spent by devout Hindus in meditation and prayer to acquire the inexhaustible knowledge of God and thereby attain eternal bliss and peace.

 

This is the day on which devotees undertake parikrama (circumambulate) of the twin city of Mathura and Vrindavan. They come out of their homes early in the morning before sunrise, barefoot, walk down to Yamuna, take a holy dip, worship Yamuna, smear a little of Braj Raj on their foreheads and then start the Parikrama. Wearing the braj raj on the forehead is said to be assuring salvation to salvation itself. As some enlightened saint of yesteryears mentions:

 

Vrindavan ki gail mein mukti pade bilkhaye,

Mukti kahe Gopal son, meri mukti bataein |

Padie raho ya gail mein panthi awat jayein,

Brij-raj ud mastak lage, mukti mukt hai jai ||

 

Meaning goes as: The goddess Salvation (Mukti), lying in the lanes of Vrindavan, is crying. The Goddess is urging Gopal( a lovely name of Lord Krishna, meaning the protector of cows, the cowherd boy) to tell her  the way that she herself can be salvaged. The Lord tells her to patiently keep on lying in these lanes of Vrindavan. As the people will walk up and down the lane the dust of Vrindavan (Braj-raj) will raise off the ground by their footfalls and as it touches your forehead you will attain salvation. Such is the divine power of Braj-raj.

 

So, the devotees wearing braj-raj on their foreheads go around the holy cities of Mathura and Vrindavan. As they start from Vrindavan, walking along the holy river Yamuna,   on their way they offer their respects at various temples- Shri Banke Bihari Mandir, Kaliya Dah, Cheer Ghat, Nidhivan, Keshi Ghat, Gopeshwar Mahadev, Jagannath Ghat and finally Godess Durga in Vrindavan. Then they walk towards Mathura, along Yamuna taking the same rout as taken by Lord Krishna when He left Vrindavan on invitation of His maternal uncle Kamsa, and offer pooja at Akroor Ghat temple on their way. On entering Mathura they worship Yamuna again at Vishram Ghat, offer pooja at Dwarkadhesh Temple, Rangeshwar Mahadev, Bhuteshwar Mahadev and Shri Krishna Janmasthan Temple. Then they walk back to Vrindavan through the forests and grasslands where Lord Krishna used to graze cows in his childhood ages ago. The land is considered pious as it bears imprints of Lotus feet of Lord and his friends. By the time they reach back to Vrindavan from head to toe they are laden with pious Braj-raj. Though the ritual is tiring and highly demanding on physical strength of the devotee, it is seen that even seemingly fragile and weak devotees are also able to successfully undertake the parikrama. As we know this is the divine intervention in our lives in the form of enhanced energy and strength that is granted to us for fulfilling such pious ambitions.

 

On this occasion if you are not able to physically undertake the parikrama we advise you to undertake at least mansik parikrama of the holy land. You can meditate on the image of Brij mandal and mentally walk around Vrindavan and Mathura. Believe in the power of deep meditation and be assured that mansik parikrama will do you as good spiritually as the actual physical parikrama.

Festival Significance : Vrindavan Mathura Yugal Parikrama
Festival Date (Hindu Calender) : Kartik Shukla Navmi
Festival Date (English Calender) : Sun, 29 Oct 2017


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