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Jhulana-yatra is a festival to celebrate Radha Krishna’s pastime of swinging on a golden swing everyday until Balarama-purnima.
At Mayapur, Radha Madhava is decorated nicely and seated on a swing . All devotees wait patiently in a queue to swing Their Lordships. The swing (jhulana) beautified with splendid flower decorations, colorful beads, etc. A special flower rope is used to pull the swing. An arotik is performed after Sri Sri Radha Madhava are seated on the swing, and devotees bring a variety of bhoga to please Their Lordships. Kirtana and bhajans go on for almost two hours, and many visitors join in to pull Their Lordship’s swing.
In this regard Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa states,
To please Sri Hari, devotees hold numerous festivals on every occasion and continuously perform sankirtana. According to their ability, the devotees serve the Lord during the summer by placing Him on the boat, taking Him out on a procession, applying sandalwood on His body, fanning Him with chamara, decorating Him with jeweled necklaces, offering Him palatable foodstuffs, and bringing Him out to swing Him in the pleasant moonlight.
Lord Balarama’s Appearance
2 Aug 2012 - 16:00
Srimad Bhagavatam Narration of Lord Balarama’s Appearance Lord Balarama is the adi-guru, the original spiritual master. In Chaitanya Lila, Lord Balarama appears as Lord Nityananda, the bestower of mercy to even the most fallen conditioned soul. Therefore His appearance as the son of Rohini and Vasudeva is celebrated by devotees with great jubilation.
On the eve of Balarama-purnima, an adhivasa ceremony is performed in the evening to invoke auspiciousness.
On the day of Balarama-purnima, devotees fast till noon. Murtis of Krishna-Balarama are decorated nicely and kept on the altar platform. At around 11 a.m., an abhisheka is performed and bhoga of varieties of sweets, savories, chutneys, rice, sabjis, cakes and pastries are offered. Flowers are offered at Their lotus feet and a maha-arati is performed. , and a grand feast is served at 2 p.m.
In the evening, devotees commemorate Lord Balarama’s breaking a honey pot. A huge pot containing honey and some maha-prasada are placed in pots and tied up on a post. Some devotees are blindfolded, and they try to break that pot using a stick. The pot moves up and down. It’s fun time for devotees watching and participating. Even though everyone is eager for a taste of the honey, hardly anyone can hit the pot. When the pot is broken, devotees relish the honey and the maha-prasada. Such an event gives us a glimpse of the bliss that the gopas might have enjoyed in the company of the Lord while breaking the pots in Vraja.
Balarama-purnima also marks the end of Jhulana-yatra and the first month of chaturmasya.
10 Aug 2012 - 09:00
Though unborn and eternal, the Supreme Lord, of His free will and causeless mercy, incarnates to deliver the pious and annihilate the miscreants. Lord Krishna appeared as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, but had His childhood pastimes at Gokula, Vrindavan. Janmashtami is celebrated very gorgeously in Mayapur. The Bhagavatam classes focus on the transcendental tattva, janma and karma of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, during the week ending with Janmashtami. On the eve of Janmashtami, an adhivasa ceremony is performed in the evening to invoke auspiciousness and help devotees prepare themselves for the next day’s festival.
On Janmashtami day, the mood of a great festival sets in at Mayapur. There is a virtual flood of thousands of visitors and guests that traffic control to keep people always on the move is organized. A variety of cultural programs entertain the guests. The altar is beautifully decorated with colorful flowers. A new outfit is offered Sri Sri Radha Madhava. They are marvelously dressed with a variety of flowers, jewels and ornaments. Devotees wait eagerly to take darshan of Them. The Srimad-Bhagavatam class is given by two or three devotees, separately in English and Bengali.
Devotees bring water from Ganga to bathe Radha Madhava during their abhisheka ceremony. Following Srila Rupa Goswami’s directions, special “samskaras” for Krishna such as nama-karana (“name giving”), vidyabhyasa (“inaugurating His education”), upanayana (“initiation”), etc. are performed with our devotees performing the samskaras.
A grand abhisheka is performed at midnight for the small Radha Madhava Deities while bhoga offering of more than 400 items are offered to Their Lordships with devotion. A maha-arati is performed and Radha Madhava give darshana in another new outfit. The devotees honor anukalpa-prasada (ekadasi prasada) after midnight.