Significance of Banke Bihari temple
Thousands of devotees flock to the Bankey Bihari temple just to catch a glimpse of the deity. What is so special about this temple?
The practices followed here aren’t seen elsewhere and the mood of the devotees here is praiseworthy.
Do you know, like other Krishna deities, Bankey Bihari ji doesn’t hold a flute. During Darshan, curtains fall intermittently. Here, there is no custom of Mangala arati. Also, in this temple, you won’t find temple bells.
Today we shall explore many such unknown secrets which make the temple a mystifying venture. Keep reading.
Why no Radharani?
In the nomadic circumstances at Nidhivan, Haridasji would cover Bihariji with the available leaves and twigs of the forest, but what about Radharani? Hence, he requested Bhagavan to merge Radharani in his form. As, those days, there were no deity adornments.
Also, the beauty of the divine couple could easily induce distaste for the world in the common man. Hence, Swamiji requested Sri Radha Krishna to dwell in a single idol, resembling the combined beauty of rains clouds and lightning.
Pulling of curtains.
This is perhaps the most mystifying customs in the Bankey Bihari temple. A curtain is drawn at intervals interrupting the flow of the devotee’s vision. There are supposedly three reason to it.
It is said that the deity of Bankey Bihari is so captivating, that with an interlocked gaze, the devotee may fall unconscious.
The princess story
Bankey Bihari is a very emotional lord. He adores his devotees and looks for every opportunity to reciprocate to their love.
Once, the princess of Bharatpur (Rajasthan) travelled to Vrindavan to behold her prince Bankey Bihari. Bankey Bihari has a magnetic charm. Enamored by Him, she at once decided to renounce her all and spend the rest of her life at his feet. However, her parents forced her to leave the land. Hence, with faltering steps, she trailed back to her palace.
Bankey Bihariji couldn’t bear to see her grief. So, He decided to follow her to her place in Rajasthan. On finding the deity missing, the temple authorities frantically searched all places. Finally they heaved a sigh of relief on seeing the Lord with the princess in her palace. The devotees of Vrindavan greatly felt His absence. To find a solution to these repeated threats, the devotees finally decided to pull curtains thus ensuring the safety of their little Kanha.
To prevent evil eye- Bankey Bihari is extremely attractive and child-like. A child is easily susceptible to evil forces. Hence, for its protection, the parents anoint its forehead with kohl. The falling of curtains is one such gesture.
No bells or claps-
Clapping or ringing bells instills fear in the hearts of children. Here, the devotees are very protective about their little Krishna. Even during Arati, you won’t find any bells.
Thakurji’s midnight absence-
Once, during the night shift, a sevak was pulling the fan strings for Thakurji. However, he fell asleep. On waking up, he looked into the cradle only to find Thakurji missing. It was already 1 am.
After waiting for long, at around 4 am, Thakurji returned in a fatigued condition. However, the next day, the servant kept awake, but once again Thakurji sneaked out at midnight.
What is the cause behind Thakuji’s absence?
Every night, Bihari ji sneaks out of his room to celebrate the rasa dance with the gopis. After celebrating the dance of love, the Lord returns tired. Hence, the attendants of Bankey-Bihari do not perform Mangala arati to ensure sound rest for their Lord.
Bihari ji dwells in his child form. A flute is heavy for children to hold. Hence, He doesn’t hold a flute. However, the flute lies next to his feet.
Partly dressed like Radharani-
Since both Radha and Krishna dwell in Bihari ji, pujaris dress His limbs with a lehenga (like radharani) and his torso like Krishna.
No Mangala Arati
The temple is strongly against the practice of Mangala arati since it is a disturbance to their sleeping lord. Hence, Bihariiji is given the liberty to rise late. Mangala arati happens only once a year on the day of Janmashtami (2-am).
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