Jhulan Yatra SJMKL
Posted by iskconklnews on August 21, 2009
By Sudarshan Das
jhula jhule radha damodara vrndavana men kaisi cchayi hariyali ali kunjan men
(Sri Sri Radha-Damodara are swinging on the swing in Vrndavana. Oh friend, how very green the kunja is!)
Yes, this was the sweetest of festivals, the 5 day long Sri Sri Radha Krishna Jhulan Yatra, which was recently celebrated in Sri Jaganath Mandir Kuala Lumpur starting from Saturday, the 1st of August.
In the holy dham of Sri Vrndavan, this period of the sacred month of Shravan, which falls during the auspicious 4 month period of caturmasya, bears witness to hundreds of thousands of people from surrounding towns and villages and from all over India and abroad, who have all blissfully congregated to participate in the Jugala kishora and kishori monsoon pastimes where the Radha Krishna deities in the temples are swung on a swing. This was a time where the hot summer begins to give way to the thunderous approach of the rain clouds marking the beginning of the monsoon seasons. Extremely fine mist-like rain drizzles everywhere casting the entire forests of Vrindavan in a lush emerald hue. The caressing touch of the gentle drizzle awakens the blooming of flowers of the forests and the entire atmosphere tingles with festive joy in a kaleidoscope of fresh colours with music & devotion permeating the air.
Yamuna ke kula, pahari suranga dulala kaise khila rahe phula, ali kadamana mein
(On the banks of the Yamuna they are wearing very beautiful and colorful clothes. O friend, how the flowers are blossoming on the kadamba tree!)
Here in Sri Jaganath Mandir Kuala Lumpur, this blissful festive mood was recreated, albeit in a more humble magnitude, but with no less joy and devotion. The swinging of their Lordships was held each day at eight in the mornings and at 7.30 in the evenings. The Sunday feast that coincided with this festival was especially sweet. HG Vinod Bihari prabhu who had experienced this festival in Vrndavan dham for 14 years was there to lead the Jaya Radhe Jaya Krishna song as the devotees swung their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda. As his fingers magically swept along the keys in his harmonium, his voice lifted beautifully in sweet reminiscence that infected the mood of everyone there.
ita nandan ko dularo, uta bhanu ki dulari, jodi lage ati pyari, basi nainana mein.
(On this side is the dear son of Nanda, on that side is the very dear daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja. Both look very beautiful; I keep them within my vision.)
The origins of this festival traces back 5000 years to Krishna’s pastimes in Vrindavan. The beginning of the monsoon season has not entirely dissipated the heat of the passing summer, and the opulence at this time is to find a breeze, as the air is heavy with the humidity of the rains. So the gopi friends of Srimati Radharani arrange for the pleasure and satisfaction of Krishna, and Srimati Radhika by placing them on a swing or Jhulan and creating their own breeze from the motion.
gaura syama ranga, ghana damini ke sanga bhai ankhiyan apanga, cchabi bhari man mein
(Their golden and dark colors are like lightening on a dark cloud. My eyes do not close; that picture fills my mind.)
In Kuala Lumpur, as per the local annual tradition as far back as I can remember since joining ISKCON, the culmination of the festival was on the 5th day in the home of HG Tatvavit Prabhu and HG Shanti Rupa Mataji, very senior devotees and dear servants of their beloved deity Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda. The entire KL and Klang yatra congregated at their bungalow in PJ on the Wednesday evening to celebrate. His Holiness Janananda Goswami graced the festival and led the kirtan and class. He spoke of the sweet pastimes of the divine couple and lead a sweet bhajan for the pleasure of their Lordships. Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda are one of the sweetest deities that I have ever seen- especially Sri Radha. They were beautifully decorated and placed on a creeper like swing amidst lush green plants and flowers. Bhajans continued through the evening as first class feast was served.
radhe mukha aur, naina syama ke cakora sakhi
(Radha’s face is like the moon; Krishna’s eyes are like the cakora bird [attracted to the moon], looking towards Her.)
And the next day was the full moon day of Balaram’s appearance! Indeed in Sri Jaganath Mandir, there is no shortage of festivals to keep our minds and limbs constantly engaged in bliss and constant remembrance of Radha Krishna. This was possible only due to the causeless mercy of Srila Prabhupada and the wonderful devotees of Sri Jaganath Mandir.