Banke Bihari Temple:
The Banke Bihari Temple ( Bankey Bihari Temple)is a Radha-vallabha-style Hindu temple dedicated to Krishna in the holy city of Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district. It was built in the year 1864. Banke Bihari was originally worshipped at Nidhivan and is now located near Shri Radha Vallabha Temple.
Krishna’s appearance is depicted in the Tribhanga stance. Swami Haridas used to call this devotional figure Kunj-Bihari (“one who pleasures in the groves (Kunj) of Vrindavan”) when he worshipped it.
The words ‘Bnke’ and ‘Bihri’ or ‘Vihri’ both imply ‘enjoyer.’ This is how the name “Bnke Bihri” came to be given to Ka, who is bent in three places. Brahma states the following regarding Ka, according to r Brahma-sahit (verse 5.31):
“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose garland of flowers is adorned with the moon-locket around his neck, whose two hands are adorned with the flute and jewelled ornaments, who always delights in pastimes of love, whose graceful threefold-bending form of ymasundara is eternally manifest,” says the poet.
Banke Bihari Temple History:
Swami Haridas (Lalita Sakhi in Dvapara Yuga), a guru of the famed singer Tansen, founded the Banke Bihari Temple. Swami Haridasji once sung the following verse in Nidhivan in Vrindavan at the request of his disciples. “Bhai Ju rang ki gaur Syam ghan damini jaisen Mai ri Sahaj Jori pragat Bhai Ju rang ki gaur Syam ghan damini jaisen Mai ri Sahaj Jori pragat Bhai Ju rang ki ga Pratham hun ahuti ab hun aagen hun rahi hai na teri hai taisain na tarihai taisain na tarihai taisain na tarihai taisain na tarihai tais Shri Haridas ke swami syama kunj bihari sam vais vaisain… Ang ang ki ujraii sugharaii chaturaii sunderta aisain “The Celestial pair Shyama-Shyam (Radha Krishna) came in front of him and his disciples when he sang the stanza. The pair united into one at Shri Swami Ji’s request, and the Banke Bihari idol appeared.
Swami Haridas received the image of Bihariji put in Shri Banke Bihari Mandir from the celestial couple Shyama-Shyam themselves. The Lord appeared in person with his holy consort and left behind a black lovely image before vanishing, obliging followers’ wishes.
Swami Haridas was born on Radha Ashtami, the eighth day of the second (bright) fortnight of Bhadrapad month in the year 1535 Vikrami, to Shri Ashudhir and his wife Srimati Gangadevi (1478 A.D.). He was born in a small village near Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, presently known as Haridaspur. The family may be traced all the way back to Shri Gargacharya. Shri Gargachrya, the Yadavas’ Kulaguru (family guru), came to Brij secretly to perform the Namakarana Samskara (naming ceremony) of young Krishna and Balarama at Sri Vasudeva’s request.A branch of the family moved to Multan (now Pakistan), but after a long absence, some of them returned. Sri Ashudhir was one such migrant who settled on the fringes of Brij, near Aligarh, after returning from Multan.
Swami Haridas was the reincarnation of Lalita, Lord Krishna’s inner consortium’s female buddy. This explains why, even as a toddler, he was more interested in meditation and scriptures than other children his age. He married Harimati when he was a proper age, according to the time. Haridas stayed away from materialistic pleasures even after his marriage and focused on meditation. Harimatiji was such a holy spirit that when she realized her husband’s tendency, she prayed fervently and was bodily transported to Lord’s heavenly abode by entering the flame of a little lamp in Haridas’ presence. There were no tangible remains left behind.
Haridas then left his village for Vrindavan, which at the time was a deep forest, and found a lonely area, now known as Nidhivan, to practice his music and enjoy the endless bliss of meditation. At Nitya Vrindavan, he concentrated on Lord’s Nitya Ras and Nitya Bihar on a daily basis. Composing and singing songs in worship of the Lord was his Sadhna. He allowed his frequent unimpeded access into the Nitya Bihar while on earth, dwelling in a mortal state, and he always relished the delight of being close to Lord.He picked Kunj in Nid
hivan, a lonely and highly forested location, as his nirvana gateway, and spent much of his time there singing, meditating, and surfing in the ocean of eternal pleasure.
His disciples were intrigued by this location, and with Swamiji’s permission, they all visited the Kunj one day. Instead of seeing anything, they were blinded by a bright, strong light that seemed to fill the entire room. Swamiji personally went there after learning of their distress, and the Lord appeared in person with his divine spouse, delightfully smiling and in a playful mood, laying a spell of charm on every living thing present. Those who witnessed this were so spellbound by the Lord’s and his consort’s beauty that they couldn’t even blink; it appeared as if they had all turned into stone statues.
According to Goswami tradition, the divine couple’s beauty was such that no one wanted to lose sight of or proximity to divinity; but, what kind of divinity is it that cannot make a simple mortal swoon and be charmed enough to forget and give up the world and its luxuries? The angelic couple’s beauty was so overwhelming that lesser mortals like you and me would be unable to tolerate it. Swami Haridasji sensed this and requested that they both accept a single shape, as the world could not tolerate their visage.He asked them to unite their forms into one, like Ghan (cloud) and Damini (lightning), as a suitable metaphor for the dark Lord’s and Radhaji’s combined splendor.
He also desired to have his adored lord in front of him at all times. The couple, having granted him both desires, transformed into a single black attractive idol, which can still be seen at the temple today. Shri Banke Bihariji‘s allure and attractiveness are the only reasons why his ‘darshan’ in the temple is never uninterrupted, but is often interrupted by the curtain drawn on him. It’s also stated that if you stare into Shri Banke Bihariji‘s eyes long enough, you’ll lose your self-consciousness.
As a result, Lord Banke Bihari, also known as Bihariji, took on a bodily form. Swamiji personally delegated the responsibility for Bihariji’s Sewa to Goswami Jagannath. Swamiji’s younger brother, Goswami Jagannath, was one of his most important pupils. The Sewa is still carried out by descendants of Jagannath Goswami, according to legend.
The deity was first established at a temple near Nidhivan, where he initially appeared. In 1862 AD, a new temple was built to reflect Bihariji’s greatness. The construction was funded entirely by the Goswamis. The temple is a work of art in and of itself, designed in the contemporary Rajasthani style.
The Bihariji’s sewa is distinctive in its own right. Every day, Shringar, Rajbhog, and Shayan are done in three sections. While shringar (bath, clothing, and adornment with jewelry such as crowns and necklaces) and Rajbhog (feast) are performed in the morning, Shayan Sewa (sleep) is performed in the evening.Mangala (early morning) sewa is not practiced at the shrine. Swami Haridas disliked Mangla Sewa because he wanted his childish Lord to rest completely and didn’t want to wake him up so early in the morning.
As a result, the temple stands today in all of its magnificence, with the Lord himself residing within. Every day, thousands of people come to see it.
Several silver-plated and solid silver embellished swings are displayed during the Jhulan Yatra, Lord Krishna’s swing festival. The third day of the waxing moon is the primary day of the Jhulan Yatra, when Shri Banke Bihari is set on a golden swing (hindola). Unlike other temples, the curtain in front of the Deities is not left open. The curtain is pulled shut and then opened every few minutes. If one looks into Shri Banke Bihari‘s sparkling eyes for too long, it is stated that one will pass out. It is the only temple in the world where Krishna is not awoken in the morning by loud temple bells.It is thought to be impolite to startle a child. He is softly awoken. There are no bells, even for Aarti, because they would annoy Him.
Banke Bihariji is said to have been up till late at night sporting, therefore the Deities don’t get up till 9 a.m. In this temple, Mangala-arati occurs only once a year, on Janmashtami. Only once a year, on Akshaya Tritiya (Chandan Darshan or Dolotsav), on the third day of the bright half of the month of Vaishaka (April–May), can the Deity’s lotus feet be seen. The Deity only carries a flute on the autumn full moon day, and He also wears a specific mukut on this day (crown).During the Holi celebration, Shri Banke Bihari comes down from his altar and can be seen in full view for the last five days of the month of Phalguna. He is accompanied by four gopis, who are only visible at this time.
Banke Bihari Temple Official Website: https://www.bihariji.org
Banke Bihari Temple Timings:
Opening: 7.45 am
Shringar: 8.00 am
Rajbhog: 11.00 am – 11.30 am
Rajbhog Aarti and closing: 1200
Opening: 05.30 pm
Shayan Bhog *: 08.30 pm – 09.00 pm
Shayan Aarti and closing: 09.30 pm
*No Darshan during bhog
Banke Bihari Temple Location: Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan, Mathura district, Uttar Pradesh.
Banke Bihari Temple Images: