2023.02.27 (Vrindavan Today News): For over 450 years, the tradition of inviting people to celebrate Holi in Barsana has been carried out with great enthusiasm. This tradition was started by Shri Narayan Bhatt, who sent Bhardwaj Shrotriya Brahmin Purohit from Barsana to Nandgaon to invite the residents there to play Holi. It is said that the first Lathmar Holi in Barsana was celebrated after this invitation was sent.
The tradition of sending invitations for Holi has continued to this day, although the way it is carried out has changed over time. Nowadays, Sakhi Swaroop saints are sent from Barsana to Nandgaon to invite the residents to join in the festivities.
According to legend, Narayan Bhattji was deeply devoted to Radha and Krishna and was known for writing hundreds of verses describing their childhood pastimes. He considered Ladli Radha as his own daughter and was completely devoted to Shri Priya Priyatam. One day, Vrishbhanu Nandani Radha appeared to him and asked him to celebrate Holi in Barsana and invite the Brahmins of Nandgaon to join in the festivities.
After receiving orders from Radhaji, Narayan Bhattji gathered the priests of Shrotriya family of Barsana and told them about Shri Radhaji’s wish. The Shrotriya family agreed to play Holi, and a Purohit of Shrotriya gotra was sent to Nandgaon to invite the residents there. The residents of Nandgaon welcomed the Purohit and bid him farewell with gifts after receiving the invitation.
This tradition of inviting people for Holi in Barsana has been passed down from generation to generation and is deeply ingrained in the culture of Braj. The songs of Holi’s Samaj Gayan, sung at Ladliji Mahal, also mention this tradition.