Pleasure gushes through veins when we watch them – Glowing Radha and Krishna- coming back and forth on a swing studded with colorful fascinating flowers and love of devotees.. We celebrate the sacred festival of Jhulan Yatra (Swing festival) in the auspicious sacred month of Shravana (July-Aug). We begin on the Pavitra Ekadashi in the waxing phase of the moon and continue till Sawan Purnima (Full moon) i.e. for 5 days.
The small Deities of Radha and Krishna are placed on an elaborately decorated swing in the temple room. After receiving the traditional arati worship, the Deities are pushed on their swing. Many devotees are working for days to prepare for the decoration of swing. With every year passing, the design of swing is becoming more elaborate and grand. Swing is decorated with all types of flowers like rose, jasmine, malati, champa and different creepers and leaves to give a feel as if the swing has appeared directly from Vrindavan, the holy place of Lord Krishna. On the D-day, devotees are working since morning for the opening of ceremony in the evening.
In the evening, members of the congregation are invited to participate. Each person offers personal prayers, and then pushes the swing several times while ecstatic Krishna Kirtan is going on simultaneously. The atmosphere in the temple is exciting and jubilant as everyone gets a chance to offer an intimate service to Radha and Krishna. A completely devotional mood is built up with melodious kirtans.
Like every festival, it is a meaningful festival to offer a practical festive service to the Lord. During this time in Vrindavan, monsoon is so sticky, and the temperature is still so hot despite the cooling rains. There is water pouring down from the black clouds but still everyone is thirsty for more water to cool off. The luxury at this time is to find a zephyr, as the air is heavy with the humidity of the rains. Thus, devotees arrange for the pleasure and satisfaction of Radha and Krishna by placing them on a swing (Jhulan) which can create a breeze from its own motion.
For 5 continuous days different people stand in queue to wait for those few moments when they can pull and push Radha Krishna on that beautiful swing to experience an ultimate and insurmountable joy of offering a service to their Lordships. Every moment of swing is like a music note and prayers are like a song. Together, it forms a symphony, a symphony of heartbeats that keeps playing till next year when they come again to get a new tune for the symphony of their heartbeats…
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