- Brahmotsava is locally known as Rath -ka-Mela is the biggest festival of any temple in Vrindavan
2023.03.10 (Vrindavan Today News) The Sri Ranganatha Temple, a famous Divyadesh of the Sri Ramanuja Sampradaya, is all set to host the ten-day Brahmotsavam festival starting from March 10. The festival will be celebrated as per Vedic tradition and will feature various religious and cultural rituals. The temple management has made elaborate arrangements for this auspicious occasion.
The Sri Ranganatha Temple, built-in 1851 in the South Indian architectural style, is home to Lord Ranganath, Shri Tirupati Balaji, Lord Narasimha, and Lord Sudarshan. Although the temple hosts a series of Mangal Utsavs every day, the Brahmotsavam festival is particularly important, with its roots dating back to Vedic times.
The festival commences with the planting of seedlings, invocation of the gods, and flag hoisting, accompanied by chanting of Veda mantras. According to Vijay Mishra, the temple’s priest, Lord Thakur Ranganath will sit in a gold-built Purna Kothi on the first day of the festival, March 10, early in the morning, and bless the devotees.
Throughout the festival, Lord Thakur Godarangmannar gives darshan every day sitting on the golden and silver vehicles Suryaprabha, Chandraprabha, Garun ji, Hanuman ji, Palki, Singh, Ashwa, and Singhshardul. The highlight of the festival is the giant sandalwood chariot fair, which attracts a large number of devotees due to its unique art style.
Swami Shri Raghunath ji from the temple mentioned that on the Navami Tithi of Chaitra Krishna Paksha, Lord Thakur ji sits in a 50-feet high chariot with his family and blesses the devotees. The chariot ride is preceded by Holi celebrations, during which Thakur ji showers blessings on the devotees by riding on a glass plane.
On the next day of the chariot fair, the Lord rides on a horse made of gold, accompanied by grand fireworks at Bada Bagicha. The Bheel Lutan Leela will be held upon the Lord’s return to the temple.
The Bhil Lootan Leela, a captivating ritual held at the main gate of the temple complex, is believed to be associated with Sriparkal Swami, a high-ranking devotee in the Vaishnava sect who was a recipient of Lord’s special mercy. He held Sri Vaishnava Tadiyaradhan (feeding Vaishnavas) in the highest regard and continued his seva even when he ran short of money by robbing rich people.
Once, when Parakal Swami couldn’t find any wealthy individuals to rob, he became concerned about how he would serve Vaishnavas. As he was returning disappointed, the Lord suddenly appeared to them in the guise of a warrior. Swami ji and his fellow bheels surrounded the Lord, forming a herd and snatching away His clothes and all His ornaments. Later, when they discovered that the warrior was no one else but Lord Vaikunthnath, they apologized for their actions.
The festival will conclude with the unique Pushpak Vimana and farewell to Garuda ji, the main vehicle of God, on March 19, with Veda mantras.
This year, there has been a change in the time of Holi ride and elephant ride of Ranganath temple to be held on March 15 in Brahmotsav. The Holi ride will start from 9 am to 12 noon, and the timing of the elephant ride will be from 7 pm to 10 pm.
The Sri Ranganatha Temple, one of the main Divya Desha of the Sri Vaishnavite tradition of Sri Ramanuja Sampradaya, has its own special place among the major temples of North India due to its unique worship method. The temple management has organized the festival with utmost care and devotion to make it a grand success. All glory to Lord Ranganath!