12th Aug to 16th Aug 2008
In the holy town of Vrindavana, this festival lasts for 13 days. It starts on the Tritiya (third day) of the bright fortnight of Shravana (July-Aug) and lasts until the full moon night of the month. During this festival the Radha-Krishna Deities in the temples are gently swung on a swing.
This is one of the biggest festivals of the year and Vrindavana is packed with thousands of devotees from all over. At some temples, the swings are made of gold and silver. Some of the main temples where this festival is celebrated at are the Banke Bihari Temple and the Radha-Raman Temple in Vrindavana, the Dwarkadish temple in Mathura, and the Larily Lal Temple in Varsana.
During this period in Vrindavana, in many of the 5000 temples there, the small Utsava Deities are taken from the altar and placed on an elaborately decorated swing. After receiving the traditional arati worship, the Deities are gently pushed on Their swing. Each of the members of the congregation offer flower petals and personal prayers, and then push the swing several times as the other members chant Hare Krishna, Jaya Radhe Jaya Krishna Jaya Vrindavan in kirtan. The atmosphere of this festival is especially sweet as everyone has the chance to intimately serve Radha and Krishna.
It is a most pleasing and satisfying festival, with the swings often highly decorated with forest creepers, jasmine flowers that have newly blossomed in the season, and streamers of garlands.
At ISKCON Bangalore, this festival is observed for five days for the pleasure of the Lord and His loving associates.
"Regarding Jhulana yatra ceremony, during these five days the Deities' clothing should be changed everyday, and there should be nice prasadam distribution and sankirtana as far as possible. If you are able to do it, a nice throne may be constructed on which the Deities can be placed. This throne may be swung gently during kirtana. That will be very good, and surely the Deities will enjoy the function."
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