Shree Banke Bihariji Temple in Vrindavan

 

The Bankey Bihari temple, Vrindavan is amongst the holiest and famous temples of Krishna in World. In Braj language Bankey means "Bent at three places" and Bihari means "Supreme enjoyer". Bankey bihari ji is worshiped and looked after as a child. There is a different and unique style of celebrating every festival in Bankey bihari temple. The deity is dressed up and offered cuisine (bhog, prasad) according to season. Temple is decorated with lights and various types of flowers according to festival. There are no bells or conch in the temple because Bankey Bihari does not like the sound of bells or conch. there is only chant of 'radha naam'. When someone enters in the temple, he feels an eternal bliss and calm and forgets all miseries. As soon as someone meets with Thakur ji , he becomes dedicating himself to Thakur ji.

History

 

The Idol of Bihariji installed in the Shri Banke Bihari Mandir, is the one granted to Swami Haridas by the celestial couple Shyama-Shyam themselves. Submitting to the desire of devotees The Lord appeared in person with his divine consort and left back a black charming image before disappearing. Swami Haridasji requested both ( Lord Krishna & Radha rani ) to take a single form, as the world won't be able to bear their image. He requested them to take a single form like Ghan(cloud) and Damini(lightning) thus giving a perfect metaphor to the combined beauty of dark Lord and his fair consort, Radhaji.Also he wanted his beloved lord to be in front of his eyes always. Granting him his both wishes, the couple turned itself into one single black charming idol, the same one that you see in the temple today.

The charm and beauty of Shri Banke Bihariji is the only reason why the 'darshan' in the temple is never continuous but is broken by the curtain drawn on him regularly. It is also said that if one stares long enough into the eyes of Shri Banke Bihariji, the person would lose his self consciousness.

 

 

The worship of the Bihariji is unique in its own way. It is performed in three parts every day ie Shringar, Rajbhog and Shayan. While shringar (which includes bath, dressing and adornment with jewellery like crown and necklaces) and Rajbhog(feast) is offered in the forenoon, Shayan Sewa (shayan means sleep) is offered in the evening. The temple doesn't have a tradition of Mangala (early morning) sewa. Swami Haridas did not favour Mangla Sewa as he wanted his child like Lord to take complete rest and did not want to disturb him out of deep slumber so early in the morning.