Have you ever fallen in love? Well you will say yes everyone has fallen in love at least once in their lifetime.
But do you know who taught us the real meaning of love?
No! It’s not a human but the Lord Krishna.
Many of you have heard of him and many of you are unaware of who he is. Well as everybody knows that in Hindu culture, there are many gods and each of them has different responsibility. But when it comes to love Lord Krishna is the first god who comes to the mind.
You may be thinking that why I am talking about love when this blog is about mysteries. Actually our today’s mystery is about the god of love and affection “Lord Krishna.”
Lord Krishna is a god who is not only lovable to Indians but also to the foreigners. There are many temples of Krishna which are handled by foreigners.
Lord Krishna has many names like Kanahiya, Shyam, Banke Bihari. Every name has it’s own meaning but today our focus is Banke Bihari.
So, first let’s get to know about Banke Bihari and the Banke Bihari Temple!!
Banke Bihari Temple is located in the holy city of Vrindavan in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India. Vrindavan is a divine place itself. Just after entering there you can feel that calm and peace of mind. And Banke Bihari Temple is like a ‘Moon in the sky full of stars.’ The best thing in Vrindavan is, every street carries you to the Bihari ji Temple. You can never get lost here.
Now you may be wondering about the name Banke Bihari. What does that mean?
Banke means “bent in three places” and Bihari or Vihari means “supreme enjoyer” and the other fact is that the image of Lord Krishna here is standing in Tribhanga (tri-bent) posture. This is why Krishna, got the name “Banke Bihari.”
Banke Bihari first worshiped by Swami Hairdas Ji who was the guru of famous ‘Tansen’ at Nidhivan. He worshiped him under the name of “Kunj-bihari” which means “the enjoyer of lake.” The story behind the conversion of Kunj-Bihari to Banke Bihari is a divine and beautiful story.
Swami Hairdas ji was deeply devoted to Lord Krishna and his shakti Radha. He left his village as he was much into the meditation and went to Vrindavan. He chose a spot to worship Radha- Krishna which was known as ‘Kunj’ in Nidhivan. It was a dense forest at that time. His way of enjoying eternal bliss of meditation and Sadhna(worship) was to compose the songs and sing them in the praise of Radha-Krishna. He spends his most of the time at Kunj by sitting there, singing and to plunge into the eternal bliss by meditation. He always felt the closeness with the Lord. One day his disciples requested him to show them, what he does there, whom he worship.
So, they went to Kunj and Swami Haridas started singing the following verse “Mai ri sahaj jori pragat bhai ju rang ki gaur syam ghan damini jaisen. Pratham hun ahuti ab hun aagen hun rahihai na tarihai taisain.. Ang ang ki ujraii sugharaii chaturaii sunderta aisain.. Shri Haridas ke swami syama kunjbihari sam vais vaisain.” On that day his voice has something different, it was more pleasurable. The air was clean and calming. Just after completing the verse a divine beam of light appeared in which the divine and astronomical couple “The Shyam-Shyama” appeared, standing together with a pleasant smile and a playful mood. They were casting a spell on everyone standing there. No one was able to blink there eyes. Everyone were spell-bounded by the charm of Radha-Krishna. The disciples of Swami Hairdas Ji were seemed like a statue. The divine beauty of Shyam-Shyama was not easy to handle for mortals like us. So Haridas ji requested both of them to take a single form as the world won’t be able to bear their divinity. Swami Ji also requested them to be in front of his eyes always. They granted his both wishes and turned into a single black charming and astonishing idol as Banke-Bihari. The idol was established in the nidhivan and later the image of Banke Bihari installed in Banke Bihari temple. This is the same idol which was granted to Swami Haridas ji by Radha-Krishna.
The beauty and charm of Banke Bihari is the reason that the darshan of Banke Bihari is never continuous but is broken by the curtain drawn on him in every 2 minutes. The curtain is drawn so that no one can establish a constant eye contact with him as his beauty can make you loose your mind not in a negative way but you will get lost in his deep eyes. There are many stories associated with this eye contact. If you want to learn about stories and never ending miracles of Banke Bihari then you can purchase the books from there named “Banke Bihari ke Chamatkar” (miracles of Banke Bihari).
In Banke Bihari Temple, there is a rule that no one can click the picture of the Banke Bihari. At that time it was really hard to find the picture of him online. But by the time, now many people click the pictures of him and you can easily find it online with clarity.
The mysteries here are not just limited. Every people has a different experience with this place. I also have many mysterious yet beautiful experience. But one of them which I really wanted to share is, many years ago my brother went to Vrindavan and clicked few pictures of Banke Bihari during ‘Aarti’ time. As during aarti curtains are not done so he clicked some beautiful pictures with the same angle but when he showed them to me my mouth was wide-opened because when I noticed the pictures, the pupil of eyes were not at the same place in all the pictures. I chose 3 pictures, in first picture the pupil was in the centre but in the second and third picture, the pupil was in different directions. As all the pictures were taken by the same side and same angle it was impossible. This is the ‘leela’ of Banke Bihari.
If you are looking at him lovingly and you really want them to look at you with the same affection, you will definitely feel them looking at you. I am telling this with my own experience.
The timing of Banke Bihari temple in summer is, Morning- 7:45AM – 12:00PM, Evening- 5:30PM – 9:30PM and in winters, Morning- 8:45AM to 1:00PM, Evening-: 4:30PM – 8:30PM.
The timing for aarti in summer is 9:30PM and in winters is 8:30PM.
You can visit Vrindavan at any time of the year but the best time to visit there is during some special occasions. In Vrindavan, especially at Banke Bihari temple, the festival of Holi, Hariyali Teej, Akshay Tritiya and Janmashtmi celebrated with a pomp. Each festival is celebrated with a different custom at Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan.
As now Janmashtmi is coming, you must visit Vrindavan to witness this festival with Banke Bihari. Janmashtmi is known as ‘Golulashtmi.’ This festival celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. As Vrindavan is dearest to Radha and Krishna both so this festival is celebrated with a great excitement. This year Janmashtmi is on Monday, 3rd September 2018
So, if you are planning to go there this janmashtmi then pack your bags and just get ready. And go there for at least 3 days as there are many temples that you must visit. For staying, There are many hotels and aashrams near Banke Bihari temple. I would prefer “Hotel Krishnam” and if you are looking to stay at ashram then the “Fogla Aashram” is a good option.
Note: If you are planning to visit Vrindavan during a festival time then reach there at least 2 days ago because just before the festival, the roads get closed and it becomes difficult to reach there specially with your own vehicle.
But there is a fact that you shouldn’t forget that Radha and Krishna both are the image of love and if you really want to go their then you must have to wish them with love that you want to come. Vrindavan is all about love. Just go there and chant Radhe Radhe as she is the shakti of Krishna and when you chant “Radhe Radhe” in Vrindavan you can feel the beauty and purity inside you and also the Lord Krishna loves it.
Those people who can’t visit this place right now then don’t feel bad because Banke Bihari is only an imagination away. You can imagine his divine image by this- according to Brahamasamhita, “I worship Govinda (Krishna), the primeval Lord, round whose neck is swinging a garland of flowers beautified with the moon-locket, whose two hands are adorned with the flute and jeweled ornaments, who always revels in pastimes of love, whose graceful threefold-bending form of Śyāmasundara (shyamsundar) is eternally manifest.”
So who is going to visit there? Let us know in the comment box and share your experience of this place.