Vrindavan, 201708.27 (VT): Balram Jayanti was celebrated with great fervor yesterday at the Bade Dauji Mandir in Vrindavan. Shri Krishna’s elder brother dressed handsomely and his servants offered him all his favorite foods amidst the joyful sounds of Harinaam sankirtan.
A special utsav aarti was offered by Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami of the Shri Radharaman Temple. Dauji’s mahabhishek was performed with 51 litres of milk, curd, honey and sacred herbs by eleven priests under the guidance of Shri Chhabeele Lal Goswami. The Vedic chanting of the priests echoed throughout the temple campus. Chappan bhog (56 types of food) was offered to the Lord and the prasadam was distributed amongst the devotees.
Govind Dev, the five-thousand-year-old deity installed by Shri Krishna’s grandson Vajranabh, is the Prince of Vrindavan. But Govinda’s elder brother is Bade Dauji (Balram). The Deity of Bade Dauji used to reside in Shri Govind Dev Mandir, but during the Mughal invasion of Vrindavan, he was hidden away. Now he is worshipped in a temple not far from Vrindavan’s Nagar Palika.
According to Goswami Deepak Acharya, the sevait of the temple, Bare Dauji’s deity was found in Goma Teela, the same place where the deities of Govinda Dev, Singhapaur Hanuman, Yogmaya and Bhairon Baba were found. Govinda Dev is now in Jaipur, Singhpaur Hanuman Temple is situated near the Govinda Dev Temple in Vrindavan, the deity of Yogmaya is still in the old Govinda Dev temple, and Bhairon Baba resides near Vrindavan’s Govind Kund.
Balram Jayanti is Bade Dauji Mandir’s largest festival, and devotees from all over Vrindavan came to celebrate the event. All the other Dauji temples around Braj also celebrated the birthday of their presiding deity of Lord Balaram.
Baldeo Chhat celebrations in other parts of Braj
The most famous of the Braj temples that celebrate Baldeo Chhat is the Dauji Temple in Dauji Gaon near Gokul. Crowds of devotees filled the temple premesis with joyful cries of “Nand ke anand bhayo, jai Dau Dayal ki!”
The divine abhishek of Shri Dauji Maharaj was held in the morning, followed by shringar aarti. Dauji Maharaj and Revati Mata wore radiant new clothes accompanied by silver and jeweled ornaments. After aarti, devotees immersed themselves in the traditional “yoghurt fight” (dadhi-kada or dadhikotsav), and fruit, sweets and clothes were tossed to the devotees as gifts.
In Hathras, Baldeo Chhath was celebrated with the Dauji Mela, while other Balram temples throughout Braj celebrated, each in their own unique way.
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