Iskcon Bangalore Brahmotsava : 22nd Year of Divine Festival

 In Hinduism, Mythology, Saints and Service

Iskcon Bangalore Brahmotsava : 22nd Year of Divine Festival

Brahmotsava is an annual festival celebrated for 12 days in the month of Chaitra (April – May) to commemorate the appearance of the Deities on Hare Krishna Hill. Brahmotsava is celebrated in all Vaishnava Temples with grandeur; especially the Srivari Brahmotsavam celebrated in Tirumala is by far the biggest.

Dhvaja Arohana: At ISKCON Bangalore Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple, the Brahmotsava festival begins with Dhvaja Arohana, hoisting the Garuda-dhvaja (flag carrying the emblem of Garuda)  on the Dhvaja-stambha (flag post). On the evening before Dhvaja Arohana, the Garuda-dhvaja is worshipped and a Vainateya Homa is performed. Devotees chant various mantras to invite the great demigods to come and participate in the festival. They invite Garuda, Vishwakasena, Brahma and the ashta dik-palakas (eight demigods protecting the eight directions). The ashta dik-palakas are Indra (East), Agni (South East), Yama (South), Nirruti (South West), Varuna (West), Vayu (North West), Kubera (North), Ishana (North East). The demigods are offered the maha-prasadam of Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra. Not only on the first day but till the end of the festival, every day the demigods reside in the temple, participate in the festivities and accept the maha-prasadam of Their Lordships.

Vahanotsava: Every evening there is a gorgeous Pallakki utsava wherein the utsava Deities of Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra are decorated in different alankaras. Each Pallakki has its respective carriers (vahanas), insignia carriers and the fan-bearers. The Lord mounts the vahana and goes for a pleasure ride with His eternal consort and other devotees. The Deities are carried in the particular vahana to suit the alankara of the day. Sri Sri Radha Krishna adorned as Sita Rama are carried by Hanuman; when They are decorated as Lakshmi Narayana, Ananta Sesha carries them; in the alankara of Rukmini Dwarakadisha They travel on Gaja Vahana as the King and Queen of the entire universe; in the ashva vahana the Lord is adorned as Kalki and in the swan carrier He takes the form of Mohini.

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Nritya Seva: Traveling in His unique vahana, the Lord reaches the open air theatre to witness the artistic performances of traditional dances, depicting the pastimes of Lord Krishna. It is a unique opportunity for the artists to perform for the pleasure of the Supreme Lord.

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Dolotsava: After the cultural performances, the Deities receive dolotsava seva, during which the utsava vigrahas are gently swung on a decorated swing. There are many families who participate in gently swinging Their Lordships.

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Sangeeta Seva: Sangeeta Seva is performed by the artists every day during Dolotsava.

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Brahma Ratha: The Deities of Hare Krishna Hill appeared in 1997 on the auspicious tithi of Purvashadha in the month of Chaitra. This particular day is celebrated every year with much more grandeur than the other days of Brahmotsava. The Deities of Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra are adorned in a vishesha alankara and are presented with a special offering of 108 different items. The Brahma Ratha is worshiped and the demigods are invoked in various parts of the ratha. The utsava Deities of Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra are adorned in vishesha alankara and taken in a procession on the Brahma Ratha. Devotees sing the Hare Krishna maha-mantra accompanied by musical instruments and pull the ratha.

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Churnabhisheka: This is the ceremonial bath during which Their Lordships are bathed in turmeric paste and other auspicious items. All the Utsava Deities at Hare Krishna Hill (Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra, Sri Sri Krishna Balarama, Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga, Sri Sri Krishna Rukmini Satyabhama and Sri Prahlada Narasimha) receive a grand abhisheka in the main temple hall.

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Theppotsava: The Brahmotsava festival culminates on the twelfth day with Theppotsava, Chakra-snana, Dhvaja Avarohana (the lowering of the Garuda-dhvaja from the Garuda-stambha) and maha-samprokshana. After eleven days of exciting festivities followed by a relaxing churna abhisheka, Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra are taken for a serene ride on a flower decorated barge in the temple kalyani (pond), during the Theppotsava. The kalyani and its surroundings are lit with colourful lights and is a sight to behold. Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra are taken in procession to the temple pond. They go for a joy-ride in a boat decorated with fragrant flowers of various colors.

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Dhvaja Avarohana: After Chakra Snana the devotees assemble near the dhvaja-sthambha for the concluding ceremony of dhvaja-avarohana. The demigods who were invited for participating in the festival are offered prasadam and sent back to their respective abodes. The Garuda-dhvaja is lowered from the flag post and taken to the main temple altar of Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra. The sacred water from the various kalashas is sprinkled on all the devotees.

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