Festivities return in Braj with Purushottam Maas

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One of the main highlights of Purushottam Maas observances in Vrindavan, particularly Shri Radhavallabh Mandir, is the celebration of all yearly festivals – Basantotsav, Holi, Dolotsav, Deepawali – in this month.

Vrindavan, 2020-09-23 (VT): After the six-month lockdown, Braj is starting to regain its festive fervor with the beginning of Purushottam Maas on September 18. Purushottam/Adhik/Mal Maas which comes once in nearly 36 months is considered very auspicious and significant for devotional services, particularly the worship of Lord Purushottam (Bhagwan Shri Vishnu/Shri Krishna).

Millions of devotees perform Govardhan, Vrindavan, Mathura and Braj 84 Kos Parikramas during this month. Even though this year the administration could not arrange proper facilities due to lockdown restrictions, people are unwilling to miss this rare opportunity for earning spiritual merits. On the other hand, Brajwasis are lining up as usual to serve the parikramarthis with water, food and medical services.

Temples in Braj have been on an opening spree since the last Unlock was announced. While Mathura’s Dwarkadhish Mandir and Shri Krishna Janmsthan opened long back, other temples in Braj ((Govardhan, Barsana, Govind Dev Vrindavan) started allowing devotees from September 1 (Anant Chaturdashi) and still others from September 18.

However, many of the major ones such as Shri Radhadamodar, Banke Bihari and Rangji are yet to take a decision in this regard. This is crucial because in addition to running daily operations, the livelihood of the priest community and that of small vendors and merchants depends on them. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to state that temples uphold the economy of Braj in a major way. That said, Thakur Shri Banke Bihari may take a little longer in blessing His devotees due to repair and reconstructionwork going on in the temple premises.

Nevertheless, all traditions, rituals and celebrations associated with Adhik Maas are being followed in the temples with the same fervor. One of the main highlights of Purushottam Maas observances in Vrindavan, particularly Shri Radhavallabh Mandir, is the celebration of all yearly festivals – Basantotsav, Holi, Dolotsav, Deepawali – in this month.

Recently Holi Dolotsav was observed in the temple. Donning a bright pink poshak, Shri Radhavallabh Lal, gave darshan from the swing made with rose flowers and ‘mor chali’. A pouch (‘phenta) of ‘gulaal’ (Holi color) was tied to His waist. Thakurji enjoyed the delicious ‘jalebi’ and ‘malpua’ bhog while enjoying Holi padas (samaj gayan) sung by Samajis.

दुर्लभ पिय प्यारी को धाम, जै जै जै श्री वृंदावन।

चहुं दिसि गूंजत राधा नाम, जै जै जै श्री वृंदावन।

In the evening He mounted a silver swing (chandi ka hindola).  On the next day of Holi, yugal shringaar (half Krishna, half Radha) was done for Shri Radhavallabh Lal.  

Shri Krishna Janmsthan, Mathura also celebrated the Holi Utsav. At Shri Dwarkadhish Mandir, Purushottam Maas began with ‘shringaar gwaal darshan’, ‘chandi ka paalna and ‘mahdaan lila, and ‘moti ki hatri’ manorath.  Other beautiful darshan till now include ‘kaanch ki hatri’ (glass) and rath darshan. Yesterday as part of ‘ritu mahotsav’ Rajadhiraj enjoyed the grand flower swing. Satrangi ghatas darshan that are typical of shraavan maas (rainy season) will also be organised.  

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