ShreeNathji Darshans – Nathdwara-2

 Eight Jhankis at ShreeNathji Nathdwara Haveli:  

(In continuation from ShreeNathji Darshans – 1)

During every darshan, there is the goonj of Jai jaikar in the hall: “GovardhanNath ki Jai, Krishn Kanhaiya Lal ki jai, Banke Bihari ki Jai, Sanvariya Seth ki Jai, Dwarkadhesh ki Jai, ShreeNathji Baba ki Jai, Shyam Sunder Yamune Maharani ki Jai, Mor Mukut Bansi Wale ki Jai, Vallabhadhesh ki Jai, Giriraj Dharan ki Jai, Bol Shree Radhe, Radha Rani ki Jai, Barsane Wali ki Jai, Aaj Ke Anand ki Jai Jai Ho Jai Ho Jai Ho…”


MANGALA – First Darshan of the daymangla Sewa is performed with the bhao of Navneet Priyaji. His Sthan is above the Surbhi Kund, below Shyam Tamal, at Govardhan. It is thought that in Nandalaya (at Mathura), all His sakha and gopijan will come for the Darshans of Bal Krishn. Shri Parmanand das is the Kavi whose rachanas (poems) are sung in this darshan. Shreeji is woken with the sound of Shankhnaad. It is the time when Shreeji just wakes up and there are no elaborate ornaments on Him. This is the only darshan when the Pithikaji is visible, also one can have the darshan of Shreeji’s right hand. In fact this darshan is the only one, where Shreeji is visible totally. This darshan time depends on the season. And stays open for nearly 45 minutes. Aarti is done in this darshan. Aarti is done with saat vat batti (seven standing wicks) with seven full rounds and seven half rounds. Bhakts enjoy this darshan a lot, and the hall echoes with their jai jaikar: This darshan time depends on the season. During summer darshans open late. The bhao is that during summer Shreeji plays longer and so will sleep later; hence has to be woken up later; the shringar is also lighter. He is clad in a simple adbandha. His flute is not given; if Shreeji begins to play early all would be enchanted and none would be able to work. In winter He sleeps early, so will be awake earlier for the Mangala darshans. He is covered totally in a rajai (blanket) so that only the Mukharvind is visible. There is a sigri (coal fire) lit before Him to create the warmth. Milk and Mishri, butter, milk, thord seera are offered as bhog; according to the season. The ‘Seera’ is one of Shreeji’s most favorite dish – the Mangal bhog ‘Seera’. He loves it. – He told me once in Nathdwara when we were taking the Mangal bhog Prasad.


   SHRINGAR – Second Darshanshringar Sewa is performed with the bhao of Shree GokulChandramaji. His Sthan is above Mansi Ganga, below the Peepal tree at Govardhan. Kirtans and bhajans of the poet kavi Shri Nand Das is sung now. Around an hour after Mangala, is the Shringar Darshan. Shreeji is dressed according to different seasons and festivals. His entire wardrobe of 365 days has been decided by Shri Gusainji nearly 500 years back and is followed till today. The clothes He adorns once are never worn again. Shreeji is offered a garland of fragrant flowers. His Bansuri is offered now with the two Chadis. The pink Kamal or any other seasonal flower are also are decorated on His waist. After His Shringar is complete, the Mukhiyaji shows Shreeji a gold ayaina (mirror) so that Shreeji can be satisfied He is well dressed. His Venu is also offered now to Him. The moment when Shreeji looks at Himself in the mirror is not to be missed, as it is 100% guaranteed that He is Present there. It is incredible. All I can do is look at this divya (divine) happening and feel lucky to have been given this opportunity to be present here. I get the bhao of Shreeji standing with both His hands on His waist, looking at me standing tall and erect as if saying, “Main accha dikhta hun na? Meri nayi vah-vah pahani hai, ab main khelne jata hun.” (Do I not look fine, I am the best dressed. I have worn my new “vah-vah” (clothes) and shall now go out to play). I just want to go hug Him and hold Him in my arms; tell Him – “Shreeji You are the best, I love You”. Bhog is offered of dry fruits and sweets.

GWAL – Third Darshangwal Sewa is performed with the bhao of Shree DwarkaNathji. His sthan is in The Kadamb Khedi, above the Erapat Kund at Govardhan. Kirtans and bhajans of poet kavi Shri Govind Swami is sung now. This Darshan is the time when Shreeji takes His Gaumata for grazing.. The Gaushala mukhiya comes to inform Shreeji that all His cows are doing well. In this Jhanki, Beedaji (triangle betel leaves) and Jhariji are also offered. Tulsi Dal is offered at His Feet. Dhoop Dhunni  is done for Shreeji so that no evil nazar harms Him. After this Aarti with dou vaat batti (two standing wicks) is performed now. Bhog is offered of rabdi, kheer, milk etc. This Darshan normally does not open during festivals and is done inside.

RAJBHOG – Fourth Darshanrajbhog This is the fourth Darshan of the day. Sewa is performed with the bhao of ShreeNathji Himself. His Sthan is at Anyor below the neem tree of Saddu Pande, at Govardhan. Kirtans and bhajans of the kavi singer Shri Kumbhan Dasji are sung. This is the most bhavya darshan. Before this Darshans open, one hears the call of the sewak to fetch Shreeji’s Mala quickly. It is with the bhao of when Shreeji stayed in Govardhan; the pujari had to call out loudly for His Mala; as Shreeji’s garden was at a little distance. As a routine it is followed as a signal for the Darshans to open. This Darshan is open for a longer time than all the other Darshans. After the call for Shreeji’s Mala; Shivji is called for taking ShreeNathji’s Darshans. When ShreeNathji shifted to Nathdwara, Shivji also was pratishted in a mandir near the Banas River. At this Rajbhog Darshan, it is believed that sakshat Shivji is seated on the round semicircle before Shreeji, in the Dolti Bari doing ShreeNathji’s Darshans. That is why no one should step on this circle during these Darshans. In this Jhanki, Shreeji stands with His Kamal and two new Malas (garland). Two Beedaji (triangle betel leaves), Shreeji’s Ladoo Banta (Gold box containing sweet ladoos), Jhariji are also offered along with His Venu (flute), two Chadis and Kamal(flowers on His waist). Once Shreeji is ready, He is shown an Aaina (mirror). A Morchadi (Stick of peacock feathers) is swayed from one side. Aarti is performed in this Darshan. To protect Shreeji from evil nazar (evil eye), two coins are given away to sewaks. Once the Aarti is done, the curtain is drawn for a few seconds, when one Malaji is taken away. This darshan is open for a long period after this. After this Darshan, Shreeji’s Haveli is shut for the afternoon as it is His time for vishram (rest). Most sewaks also retire and rest, as they have been awake very early. Nearly three hours later the Shankhnaad (conch) is heard again. Bhog is offered of all types of food equivalent of an elaborate lunch. Shreeji’s food is always made extra sweet and no chillies used in the preparation. His jal (water) is always mixed with either rose, Chandan or some Kesar. He does not like plain water. Shreeji, when in the right mood at times talks to me about His food habits. About how He likes milk with kesar; this happens many times when we are having tea at Gurushree’s office mandir. Suddenly I hear Shreeji’s tiny sweet voice, Tum log yeh kiya peete ho? I reply – Shreeji, yeh chai hoti hai “Chai hai? Main chai nahi peeta. Main to kesar wala dudh peeta hun,? Main jal bhi kesar wala hee peeta hun”. (What are you’ll drinking? I reply -Shreeji, this is called tea. “This is tea? I don’t drink tea. I drink only milk with kesar,  I drink water also with kesar).

 UTTHAPAN – Fifth Darshanutthaphan Sewa is performed in the bhao of Shree Mathureshji. His Sthan is at Saghan Kandara Parasoli above Chandra Sarovar at Girirajji. Kirtans and bhajans of Shri Surdas are now sung. Nearly three hours later the Shankhnaad (conch) is heard again. This is the first of the four afternoon Darshans. Like Mangala, bhakts gather outside the gate, waiting for the door to open. Shreeji is woken with the sound of the Vina. It is often around between 3.30-4.15 pm. This Darshan is open for a short time. At times Shreeji looks sleepy in this Darshan. The entire Haveli seems very peaceful and calm at this time. Shreeji’s vastra becomes lighter now. There is no Beedaji, no Chadiji, no Bansuri, no Kamal in this darshan. Two Jhariji are offered now, with the bhao of Yamune Maharaniji. No Aarti is done now. Bhog is offered of Fruits and milk products.

 BHOG – Sixth Darshanutthaphan Darshans are of the bhao of Gokulnathji. His Sthan is near Nava Kund, above Rudan Kund, below the Aavli tree at Govardhan. Kirtans and bhajans of Shri Chaturbhuj das are sung now. This Darshan opens around an hour after Utthapan. During summers small fragrant fountains are started for cooling and in winters a coal sigri is burnt at some distance from Thakurjee for providing heat. There is Flower Shringar or Flower Bangala in this Darshan. Bantaji is placed now, with Jhariji and two Beedaji. Shreeji adorns two fragrant flower Malaji. His Bansuri and Chadiji are offered now. A ‘Chadi Dar’ is present on the side who dresses in a gherdar, formal attire. He is Shreeji’s guard, who wears gold kadas and carries a gold or silver Chadi. His Paag, Kamarpatta, dupatta matches Shreeji’s Vastra for that particular day. A morchadi is waved around Shreeji. No Aarti is done in this darshan. Bhog is of mainly fruits, Thor and some light snacks.

 SANDHYA AARTI – Seventh Darshanaarti Darshans are of the bhao of Shri Vitthalnathji. His Sthan is at Apsara Kund, below Shyam Tamal at Govardhan. Kirtans and bhajans of Shri Chitta Swami are now sung. This Darshan is immediately after the Bhog Darshan. Shreeji comes back home from Gocharan and play. Ma Yashoda does Aarti for Her son, is the bhao of this Darshan. The Shringar and Vastra become light, preparing for sleep. Bantaji, Jhariji, five Beedaji are offered. Shreeji wears two thick flower Malaji, Bansuri and Chadi are offered now. A morchadi is waved from one side. Aarti is performed now It marks the end of the day. Aarti is performed. One can observe how important it is to wear gold kadas on both hands when doing Shreeji’s Aarti. The Sudarshan Chakra is also offered Bhog. The Dhajaji is wrapped around and given rest for the night.

SHAYAN – Eight Darshanshayan This is the eighth and last Darshan of the day. The Darshan bhao are of Shree Madanmohanji. His Sthan is at Shyam Tamal and below the Kadamb tree, above Bilchu Kund at Girirajji. Kirtans and bhajans of Shri Krishna Das are now sung. These Darshans are not always held at Nathdwara. From Dassera to Ram Navami, Shayan darshan is at Nathdwara; From Ram Navami to Dassera Shayan darshan is at Jatipura, Govardhan, Mathura. Darshans are opened only after the ‘rasoiya boli’; the sewak goes on the terrace of the Haveli to call out for Shreeji’s chief cook to come early the next morning, again being in the bhao of Govardhan hill. Drums are sounded for the Darshans to open. A bhajan in the form of a Lullaby is sung. The Vina is played and Shreeji offered His Venu (flute) for the night. His Gold bed is prepared in the right way. It is supposed that Shree Radha will join Him at night, so Her garments and Ornaments are also kept ready. Shreeji wears two Malaji, made from fragrant flowers. He is offered His Bansuri and Kamal (flowers on His waist). A matching flower is also placed on His raised left hand. No Chadi is offered now. Paan Beedaji, Jhariji is kept ready. Morchadiji is swayed from one side. A sewak is positioned just outside Shreeji’s main mandir with a mashal (fire) till the end of the darshans. Mukhiyaji offers Shreeji paan seven times. We can see one sewak cleaning the floor continuously, in the bhao of Shreeji eating paan. A carpet spread on the ground leads to Shreeji’s Bed Chamber. Bhog is offered for the night. Jal (water) is filled. Laddoos are kept paan (Betel) leaves, are kept. It is the last Darshan after which Shreeji is free till the next morning. The wooden platforms from the ‘Dolti Bari’ are removed. The doors of the ‘Sinh Pole’ are left open. It marks the end of that day and all will become still and silent till the next morning, till the Shankhnaad sound; signaling that Shreeji is now awake. It is a very quiet & silent feeling in the entire town once Shreeji retires for the night. All return to their homes to come back for sewa the next day. This cycle continues every day all through the years. ShreeNathji has been here giving us His Loving Darshans year after year without any holiday or change in His routine. We may have gone through various birth cycles, but Shreeji-Thakurjee without complaining or feeling tired stands there without fail; completing His Karma of giving Darshans.

For animated ShreeNathji Haveli darshans from Nathdwara; Application launched on: Magh Sud Dasam, Samvat 2068, Rohini Nakshatra, Vrushabh Rashi, The 2nd February 2012, Thursday at 6.31pm

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Jai Maha Gurushree, Shreeji!

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