FESTIVALS : Mudiya Poona or Guru Poornima

Guru Poornima is celebrated to venerate Maharishi Ved Vyasa, who edited the four Vedas, wrote 18 Puranas, and also authored the timeless epics called Mahabharat and Srimada Bhagwata.

Radhe Radhe!

On the day of full moon in the Hindu month of Ashadh, Hindus all over the world celebrate Guru Poornima. It is celebrated to venerate Maharishi Ved Vyasa, who edited the four Vedas, wrote 18 Puranas, and also authored the timeless epics called Mahabharat and Srimada Bhagwata. He was the Guru of Dattatreya – who bears the title of being Guru of all Gurus.

Traditionally, people pay obeisance to their respective spiritual Gurus on this day, wash their feet with water, worship them in gratitude for guiding them away from the darkness of the ignorance to the light of the knowledge, and ask for their blessings.

But in Brij region, Guru Poornima holds a special significance. Like all things in Vraj, the festival has a close connection to the bhakti of Lord Krishna.

Sri Santana Goswami with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Sri Santana Goswami was born in 1488 A.D. He was one of the descendants of a Brahmin King of Karnataka called Srisarvajana, who was also known as ‘Jagadguru’ because of his extensive learning and knowledge. Santana was one of the disciples of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who was a renowned follower of Lord Krishna and a revered social reformer. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s followers revere him as an avatar of Lord Krishna Himself.

Later, Sri Santana Goswami emerged as the topmost of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan, who were close associates of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He came to Vraj at the age of 27 and remained there for 43 years. He was so intensely passionate about Krishna and His leelas that he undertook 21-km Govardhan Parikrama every day, even when he became old and feeble. One day, he fell in between his Parikrama. It is said that on this day, Lord Krishna Himself appeared to Sanatana, gave him a shila from Govardhan and marked His footprint on it, and instructed him that he should only do Parikrama of only this shila as Govardhan. This shila can still be seen in Radha Damodar Mandir in Vrindavan.

In 1558, at the age of 70 years, Santana Swami suddenly disappeared on the day of Guru Poornima. People believed that he, finally, took his eternal abode in Heaven.

Santana Goswami was like a father to the Vrajwasis. Hence, in keeping with the tradition to shave heads (locally known as ‘sar moodna’) when someone in the family dies, all Vrajwasis shaved their heads on that day. Since then, on Guru Poornima every year, Vrajwasis still shave their heads in remembrance of Santana Goswami (hence, the name ‘Moodiya Poornima’) and perform 21-km Govardhan Parikrama.

Crowds of devotees outside the temple of Govardhan Today, as many as 50 lakh to 1 crore people visit Mathura during Moodiya Poornima to perform Govardhan Parikrama. The circumambulation of the hillock starts on Dev Shayani Ekadashi (which fell on July 19 this year) and continues to Guru Poornima or the full moon day (which will fall on July 22, 2013). The entire Parikrama Marg looks like a river of people as devotees inch their way along the marg chanting “Radhey-Radhey&'?, “Hari Bol&'? and especially “Giriraj Maharaj ki Jai!&'? with joy and glee.

It is amazing to see the festive mood of such a huge crowd as people dance to the sweet music of Krishna Bhajan all 21 kilometers of the Parikrama Marg and enthusiastically taking holy dips in Mansi Ganga at Govardhan. The major shrine along the pilgrimage route, such as Har Gokul, Mukharvind, Radha Kund, Shyam Kund, Dan Ghaati and Kusum Sarovar, see lakhs of pilgrims visiting them every day to pray to the deities.

Many people choose to the occasion to serve these ‘Bhakts’ and organize ‘bhandaras’ and distribute cool sweet water to them. It is an amazing and a rare sight to see such a magical confluence of love, compassion and devotion on such a large scale.

Moodiya Poornamasi fair flags off the festival season in the Brij Mandal, which goes on till Janmashtmi (which will fall on 28th August, 2013).

SHRI Radha Vintage and SHRI Radha City in New Mathura are situated right on Govardhan Road and can offer you cheerful views of Parikrama Marg without being part of the crowds. Shri Radha Florence in Vrindavan also offers you an opportunity to be immersed in the festive mood of the region without sacrificing your peace and comfort. The green and serene Shri Radha Golf is quite near Main Parikrama Marg at the feet of the holy Govardhan. Shri Radha NRI Greens was designed with ultra-modern facilities, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and a spiritual ambience ideal for soul searching for the NRIs who choose to be the part of this divine pilgrimage. Sri Radha Brij Vasundhara Resort If you are looking for a resort stay at Goverdhan during or after Moodiya Poornima, you are invited to check out SHRI Radha Brij Vasundhara resorts, which sports luxurious cottages, high-end recreational & de-stressing facilities, yoga and meditation services, a swimming pool, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a golf course and a well-equipped gym too.

Read more here about Famous Festivals of Mathura