FESTIVALS : All the Teerthas come to Braj in Chaturmas!

Radhey Radhey! ‘Chaturmas’ or the four Hindu months of Shravan, Bhadrapad, Ashwin and Kartik are sacred for several reasons. It is said that Lord Vishnu – the Nurturer and Protector of the Universe – takes a rest during this period. He enters ‘YogNidra’ (a state of deep meditation) on Devshayanai Ekadashi in Shukla Paksh of Ashadh month (which fell on July 19, 2013) and wakes up again on Probodhini Ekadashi in Shukla Paksh of Kartik month (which will fall on November 13, 2013).

According to other legend, during this period, Lord Vishnu resides in Patal Lok with Goddess Lakshmi to fulfill the promise He gave to Great Asura King Bali when He took Vaman Avatar.

Hence, Hindus believe that one should not organize any auspicious ceremonies during these months and perform penances and austerities, do meditation and charity, take baths in holy rivers, and pray to purify themselves.

Brij Chauras Kos Yatra is the ‘only’ yatra for Chaturmas!

In Brij Mandal, Chaturmaas is the time of celebration. Festivals

such as Guru Poornima, Krishna Janmashtami, Hindolas of Saavan, Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Diwali and Govardhan Pooja are celebrated with great enthusiasm and make this four-month period a delight for the pilgrims and tourists who come here.

During Chaturmasya, all the 66 arab teerthas* and 33 crore devi-devatas are believed to stay at Braj while it is said that Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi still descend as Krishna and Radha during this period to perform their Maharaasa.

* Teerthas are sacred places associated with deities and saints. They might be ancient cities known as spiritual centres, mountains, or banks of holy rivers. In Braj Chaurasi Kos Yatra, you can also find pilgrimage sites such as Adi-Badri of Badrinath fame, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri - the famous teerthas of Uttarakhand that are closed these days.

It is said that the 40-day ‘Braj Chauras Kos Yatra’ in Chaturmas absolves one of the sins of 84 lakh yonis and helps one to attain Moksha.

Bhakt Prahlad did Braj Chaurasi Kos Yatra in Satyug, Shatrughan performed the sacred yatra in Treta Yug, Uddhav ji performed the yatra with all the Gopis in Dwapar Yug, and a number of Jain, Buddhist and Hindu saints such as Jin Prabhu Shuri, Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya, and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are said to have performed the yatra in Kali Yug. Teerthas stay at Braj in Chaturmas!

Once Lord Vishnu asked King of Teerthas Prayagraj to oversee and take care of all the teerthas during the time of Chaturmaas, as He left for Braj as Krishna to perform Raasa with all the gods and goddesses.

The honour accorded to him made Prayagraj proud and made him want to flaunt it. Thus, he ordered all the teerthas to visit him for a conference. All the 66 arab teerthas across the world obeyed him, except for the teerthas in Brij Mandal.

Prayagraj took it as an act of defiance and a grave personal insult. He attacked the teerthas of Brij with his army but lost. Then, he and all the other teerthas complained to Lord Vishnu about the revolt of teerthas of Brij Mandal.

Lord Vishnu thundered, “How dare you attack my home, Prayagraj? Brij Mandal is invincible. It is quite close to my heart. I made you the King of Teerthas and what did you do?'

Prayagraj realised his mistake and prayed to Lord Vishnu for forgiveness. He also begged Him to tell him a way of doing penance for his sin.

It was then Lord Vishnu suggested that Prayagraj would have to stay at Brij with all the other teerthas for one-third of the year – the four months of Chaturmas.

Hence, Brij Chauras Kos Yatra during Chaturmas gives one the reward of visiting all the teerthas of the world at once. One should not visit other teerthas during this period as they are not present at their respective place but in Brij at the time.

Another sweet legend is about BalGopala who called all the teerthas to Braj so that Nandbaba and Mata Yashoda could perform all the pilgrimages at once there itself. In Srimad Bhagavat, there is a story that narrates that Lord Brahma too performed Braj Chaurasi Kosi Yatra to absolve the sin of doubting about the divinity of godchild Krishna.

Millions of pilgrims and devotees flock to Braj to participate in this unique pilgrimage trip, where the long circumambulation of the entire area is rampant with satsangs, bhajans, and re-enactment of delightful Raas Leelas.

Come to Braj in Chaturmas to soak in the shower of divine blessings and embrace the journey of soul!