Vrindavan, 2018.02.19 (VT): It is celebration time for the entire Beriwala family. The mercy of Thakur Banke Bihari, which began almost 100 years ago, is being showered on the ‘Beirwalas’ even today . The ‘seva’ established by Lala Shri Har Gulal ji Beriwala entered the 100th year on Fulhara Dauj, according to the Vaishnava Calendar. This year this auspicious day fell on 17th February.
Har Gulal ji’s relatives have continued serving Banke Bihari, continuing the tradition of service of almost a century. According to the Gregorian calendar, March 4th 2018 marks the beginning of the 100th year since Seth Har Gulal Beriwala ji began his service to Thakur Shri Banke Bihariji.
Out of great love for the Lord, Har Gulal (Lala ji) arranged a special bhoga offering to Thakur Banke Bihari ji Maharaj. Lala ji gave a donation to provide for a daily offering of simple, boiled vegetables. This bhoga came to be known as kuccha bhog. This particular ‘bhoga’ is a change from the spicy and ghee laden food that is offered to Bihariji.
The kuccha Bhog offering is still made in Banke Bihari temple to this day. This Bhog is offered to the Lord at noon.
The ‘pukka bhog’, which is offered in the evening and other intermediate bhogs are also prepared in the Haveli, where Seth Har Gulal ji Beriwala’s family lives. The tradition of sending the ‘bhog’ from the Haveli is continued even today.
Friends and relatives of the Beriwala family have gathered in Vrindavan to celebrate the approach of 100th years of service.
A Three day long celebration began on Friday. The Beriwala family and their friends went to Nidhivan and performed the ‘badhai’ song at Swami Haridas’ samadhi. Thereafter, they went to the Banke Bihari Temple, where the men and women of the families performed the ‘badhai song’ and danced in front of their beloved ‘Thakur Banke Bihari ji Maharaj.’ Relatives and guests then returned to the ‘Haveli’ for an audio-visual presentation about the history of ‘Beriwala’ family’s ‘seva’ to Shri Banke Bihari.
Sadhu seva, a feast for the saints, babajis and vaishnavas were organised at Bihari ji’s garden at noon. Shri Dayal Das Baba and his associates from the Haridas Seva Sansthan performed ‘Samaj’ in the evening. Several prominent saints participated in the Samaj Gayan.
On the third day, special ‘Samaj’ and ‘Prasad’ distribution was organised in Varsana, where the ‘seva’ began simultaneously with the Banke Bihari Mandir of Vrindavan. The ‘Seva Mahotsava’ was celebrated under the direction of Shri Radhe Shyam ji Beriwala.
Seth Hargulal came to Vrindavan in 1919 from Kolkata with Sant Pravar Swami Sri Krishna Yataji Maharaj. Both were eager to have darshan of Shri Banke Bihari, so they left Kolkata and travelled to Vrindavan. After spending time in Vrindavan, Seth Hargulal could not tolerate living in any other place, and in 1929, he settled in Vrindavan and spent the rest of his life serving Biharji.
Lala ji used the wealth he had accumulated in the service of Braj’s deities, especially Banke Bihari. He donated the silver swing (jhula) that is used in both Bihariji temple and Barsana’s Shriji temple.
Apart from assisting the temples to maintain their seva to the Lord, his family has also helped to build roads in Vrindavan and has been active in providing health services as well as opening schools and colleges. Lala ji arranged drinking water facilities for tourists and pilgrims and was known as someone who could not stand to see anyone in need.
Shri Har Gulal ji Beriwala (1894-1979) was born in Beri, a small town in Haryana in 1894. From very early in his childhood, the holy town of Vrindavan held a special place in his heart. Once he saw Vrindavan, he found it impossible to pull himself away. He stayed here, dedicating the rest of his life to the service of Thakur Banke Bihari and the people of Braj. His dedication and love for Vrindavan inspired the younger generations of his family to continue the wonderful tradition of service to Bihariji and to the Dham.