The Vrindavan Banke Bihari Krishna Temple Brindavan Mathura Uttar Pradesh is amongst the most revered and popular temples of Lord Krishna in the world. In the language of Braj the word Bankey means "Bent-at-3-places" and Bihari means "Supreme-enjoyer". People worship the idol as a child.
The Idol of Bihariji has been put up in the Mandir of Shri Banke Bihariji and is one which was given to Swami Haridas by the revered couple Shyama-Shyam themselves. Acknowledging the desire of devotees, he appeared in person along with his divine companion. He left behind a black charming image before vanishing. It was requested by Swami Haridasji to assume a single form, as the world will not be in a position to decipher their image. He appealed to them to assume a single form like Damini (lightning) and Ghan (cloud) thereby providing a perfect analogy to the combined beauty of the dark Lord and his beautiful consort, Radhaji. He also wanted that his beloved lord should be in front of his eyes always. Granting him both of his, the couple turned themselves into one single black idol, it is the same one which you are able to witness in the temple today.
The word Banke means 'bent in three places' while Bihari complements the 'absolute enjoyer.' The idol here was found by the revered Haridas at Nidhivana during the 16th century, where the original Lord was worshiped. He was later shifted here when the temple was constructed in 1864. Formerly, the idol of Banke Bihariji was worshiped as a single entity or with a small idol of Radharani which was later on added. The curtain before the idols always remains closed and it opens only during the darshans. Many a times, the curtain is pulled shut; it is later on opened again.
Based on the Hindu mythology, the eminent classical singer Tansen also known as Swami Haridas was fast asleep under a tree due to his tiredness after a long excursion. Lord Krishna appeared in his dreams with an urge to dig out his idol from the ground which he told him was placed near the area where he was sleeping. On waking up Swami Haridas began digging the ground. To his amazement, he was able to recover Krishna's idol from the very spot where he was told to dig. It was in fact a Hindu priest had immersed the idol into this very ground so as to preserve it from any ruin done by the Mughal emperors if it fell into their hands. After that the idol found its home in the sacred shrine of Lord Bankey Bihari in Nidhivan of Vrindavan.
People celebrate every festival in festival in the temple in different and unique ways. The deity is dressed up and provided with cuisine which is known as the prasad or bhog which is based on the season. The temple is also illuminated with lights and different types of flowers based on the festival. You will not be able to find any conches or bells in the temple since Bankey Bihari is not fond of the sound of bells or conches. You will in fact get to hear the melody of �radha-naam�.In the month of Shravana which lasts from July-August, a swing festival to honor Lord Krishna is held. It is known as the Jhulan Yatra. In this festival lots of silver-plated and solid silver swings are placed all over the city. It is on the third day of the waxing moon that the main day of Jhulan Yatra takes place. During this festive mood, Banke Bihari is settled on a golden swing which is known as the hindola.The priests at the temple belong to the Nimbarka-sampradaya.
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