ShreeNathji Darshans – Nathdwara – 1

**********************************************************************************************************                                                                          Darshans at Nathdwara Haveli-Mandir

 

The Swarup of ShreeNathji as He Appeared at Govardhan,and now Living at Nathdwara,  is in the Form of a reddish black stone Murti, about four feet in height. His left hand is raised, just as He had appeared at Govardhan. His right hand rests on the waist with His palm formed in a fist. ShreeNathji Himself Lives here in His Haveli Mandir; so is worshipped in a very live manner. It is assumed that He is Present at all times in His Bal Swarup; Over Shreeji’s Nij Mandir there is a roof top with the Dhajaji flying, and His Sudarshan Chakra. Shreeji has many times told me jokingly, “Dekho main kitna gareeb hun, mere paas toh sirf ek jhopdi hai, baaki sab yeh log le jaate hain”(Look, I am so poor; I have just a hut to live in, rest all is taken away by them).

Similar to how we would look after a young child, His Sewa is done with the most pure of bhao and best of samagri. According to Shrimad Bahgvat, Shri Vallabhacharya had started the Ashtyaam sewa with the bhao of Nandalaya. Later his second son Shri Gusainji Vitthalnathji established the elaborate sewa of Bhog and Shringar which is followed till today, similar to nearly 500 years ago. The festivals and their way of celebrations is also not changed; the various type of clothes and ornaments that Shreeji wears are the same as started several 100 years ago by Shri Gusainji. All of ShreeNathji Bhog is prepared according to the various seasons and days. Every type of food is prepared for Shreeji and offered in His Nij Mandir. All the traditional foods; with every dry fruit, many very expensive herbs are also used depending on the seasons. Only black pepper and rock salt is used in the preparation of His food, as being a young child would not enjoy chilies. A lot of sugar is added in His sweet preparations. Like He mentions sometimes in fun,

Main toh bahut meetha khata hun, phir bhi mujhe diabetes nahi hota, ha, ha, ha”.

(I eat a lot of sweets, yet I do not have diabetes, ha, ha, ha”).  

During the hot summer months He is offered water with chandan and rose; while in the winters kesar is added to His water. The way of cooking food for Shreeji follows the traditional manner. Bhog is the most elaborate and perfect with the most pure ingredients being used. No one is allowed to watch Shreeji when He takes His meals.

Shreeji explains,

“Main toh sirf soonghta hun, kabhi, kabhi laddoo aur beeda khol deta hun. Chappan bhog toh yeh log apne khane ke liye banate hain, ha ha ha. Jhariji mein se Jal kabhi pee leta hun.”

(I only inhale the offerings, at times I break open the Laddoo and Betel offerings. The Chappan Bhog offering is for them to eat only, ha, ha, ha. I do drink some water from my Jhariji, at times). Shreeji’s Shringar is the most artistic, and beautiful. It is alokik . All type of ornaments are there for Him; used according to the type of Shringar done on that particular day. The flowers are freshly grown, and bought every morning from various gardens, grown especially for His Sewa. There is a room for preparing Shreeji’s various Malas; where different fragrant flowers are used. Shringar can be done only by the Tilkayatji or the Mukhiyaji who has been appointed by them. None is allowed to watch Shreeji when He gets ready.

“Kabhi, Kabhi jab tayaar karte hain aur main dhyan nahin rakhta toh thoda sa hil jata hun, vastra, abhushan gir jaate hain. Kitne der khada rahun? Baar, baar tayaar karte hain, bolte hain attention mein khade raho Shreeji, bhakt log aaye hain. Main tou thak jata hun, main kiya karoo?”

(Sometimes, when they are getting me ready, and  I don’t concentrate, I shake a bit, then the clothes or jewellery fall off. How long can I stand? Over and over they want me to stand still when they make me ready for darshans, telling me to stand in attention as bhakts have come for darshans. I get tired, what to do!)

Shreeji  is Natkhat, so, though having stopped direct interactions; yet plays sometimes in His Mandir. There have been times when He refuses to accept certain ornaments or vastra. If He has pushed them away three times, it is assumed that Shreeji does not want this. A new pair of the same is always kept ready, which is then used for Shreeji. New Vastra are used daily for Shreeji. No clothes are repeated. There is a team of  tailors who continuously stitch Shreeji’s clothes in the Darji Khaana. Unlike all other Hindu mandirs, Shreeji’s Darshans are not open continuously for the day. As Shreeji Lives here in the ‘Live Form’ of a small child, all His Darshans are regulated accordingly. From morning, when He is woken, right through till the time of going to bed, there are eight Jhankis (Darshahs) which are open to bhakts. They are called-Mangala; Shringar; Guwal; Rajbhog; Utthapan; Bhog; Aarti; Shyan. All His Darshans are open only for a short while, the bhao being that He is a child, so will get tired of standing and may experience shram; so frequent Darshans are there for short durations. The bhao is of a young child who is woken up, offered snacks; bathed and dressed; ready for His play; offered an elaborate lunch; He must be tired so given rest in the afternoon; woken up for His afternoon snack; Aarti done; offered dinner; changed and asked to sleep. Each Darshan has a special bhao and meaning. (Have elaborated them later). Though each Darshan is important in Itself; ideal is to at least do all eight Darshans when in Nathdwara, for the maximum benefit of experiencing any closeness with Shreeji. The timings of each darshan are more or less fixed, they may vary at times by some 20-30 minutes, according to the seasons. The daily timings are declared outside the gate on a black board and also on an electronic board. At times two Darshans are combined. This happens when the crowd is extreme, on some important festivals. Darshans have to be kept open for a longer period so that all the innumerable bhakts get a glimpse of Thakurjee. Govardhan Parvat, Shreejis original Pragatya Sthal, has eight doors. Each door is the place of one Asht Sakha of Shreeji. The Asht Sakha were the eight poet friends, who wrote and sang various bhajans in classical bhao. All these rachanas are in praise of Shreeji and express different bhaos. They are used till today in Nathdwara with each Darshan, according to the particular Darshan, festival and time of the day.

(Details of each darshan will come in part – 2)

shreenathji

(For further details, please visit: www.shreenathjibhakti.org)

Jai MahaGurushree Shreeji!!

merged swarup (2)

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