|| Krishna Janmotsav & its Pooja Vidhi ||
As Dwarka is derived from 'Dwar', a door, and in ancient times its flourishing port was considered to be the gateway to the main land. As 'Ka' means 'Brahma' meaning, gateway to Moksha. It is called Dwarkamati and Dwarkavati. Being adopted home and capital of Shri Krishna after he gave up Mathura. It is held in such a high esteem as a place of Hindu pilgrimage that it is considered to be one of the four principle holy places of chardham, it is also known as Mokhsapuri
It is every devotee's dream to visit the city on Janmashtami day. Krishna Janmotsav is celebrated with special flavor at Dakor, Mathura and Dwarka. As Dwarka is known at Mokshapuri it is very special event at Dwarka. Janmashtami (Krishna Janmotsav) is celebrated in a very special way. Devotees from across India and abroad come to celebrate this special festival. It is a historic event for them.
Celebration at Dwarka is mainly based on his daily routine (Nitya Kram). There are several special occasions on this special day when Shriji gives darshan to its devotees. Rituals are performed by Aboti Brahmins; they belong to special caste of Brahmins who are performing this auspicious task since centuries. The importance of Shri Krishna's life and teachings was not limited to his contemporary period but is equally so to the posterity. That is why his birthday is remembered and celebrated today even after five thousand years. Not only Vaishnavas (followers of Vishnu - Shri Krishna) but also all those who are interested in his philosophy celebrate his birthday with great devotion. The philosophy of his life has stood the test of time.
- Janmashtami Pooja -
Mangla Arti comes first according to the schedule during this festival day at Shri Dwarkadhish mandir.
First of all 'Banta Bhog' (like milk and milk products) and butter offered to Shri Dwarkadhish. Then they do Mukh prakshalan (cleanse the face with water) and Dant manjan (brushing the teeth) of dwarkadhish. Devotees can have first darshan (glance) of the Shri from this Mangla Arti.
Mangla arti is always performed at 7:00 o'clock in the morning and Pujari, the worshipper, performs it. Most of Vaishanva's day starts with the darshan of this mangla Arti.
The holy bath given to the Lord is known as Abhishek. This is a part of daily puja, which is performed after mangla arti. Except on festival days it is performed inside at the shrine by pujari. But two times in the year once at the Janmashtami and the other at Jalayatra day, devotees can have darshan of this Abhishek. Many devotees and Vaishnavas come there for this darshan.
Normally on Janmashtami day this Abhishek ceremony is performed from 8:00 to 10:00 in the morning. During this ceremony pujari pours panchamrut (five pure things) made of milk, honey, ghee, curd and sugar. They do the Abhishek with pure water and other materials. This Abhishek is completed with the chanting of 'Purusha Sukta'.
After the Abhishek they adorn the lord. Pujari adorns the lord with ornaments and clothes. First of all they do archana with petals of tulasi (basil) and chandan (sandal wood). Then a pitamber (golden colored one piece of silk) worn to the lord. They worn the lord pajama (salwar) vagho (one piece of cloth) and charbhuja valo kotho (the cloth for four hands)
In ornaments they adorn the lord with golden ornaments especially Chandanmala, soparimala (betel nut necklace) and vaijayantimala (garland).
On head they put the crown known as 'KUVE'. On that crown there is an ornamental crest and chandrakala. Then they do makeup on the face of shree Dwarkadhish.
After all this adornment they adorn the lord with Shankha (shell), chakra, gada and padma, which are made of diamonds, topazes and precious stones. At last they offer uparana (piece of silk kept on the shoulder) and golden pithika.
After completing the shringar they remove the curtain to allow the devotees to have darshan. And then they offer shringarbhog (some sweets). Thus each and every time of Bhog they kept the curtain down and people cannot have darshan during this period of time. They use everything for this Bhog from the store of the temple and it is prepared in the temple only.
After that Shringarbhog arti is performed at 11:00 o'clock by pujari. They keep the golden chhaddi (golden stick) at the door of shrine. The photo or idol of shree garudjee (deity eagle) is kept in front of shree Dwarkadhish. They keep the bansari (flute) in the hand of shree dwarkadhish because he promised shree Radhajee that he would keep bansari always with him though he was leaving the Gokul. To maintain harmony with these emotions, the flute is kept with lord Dwarkadhish before performing arti.
Arti is the afflicted voice or call of devotees for god. This vidhi (procedure) is very auspicious and keeps free from sufferings. When Arti is being performed with drum, Transa Nobat (beats of drums in the temples). First they perform the arti with Shankha (conch), and then they perform arti with Dhoop, fragrant substance or incense. Then they prepare 108 wicks and light them and then perform arti with it. When this is completed they offer flowers with chanting of mantra to Lord Dwarkadhish. This presentation is called pushpanjali.
After shringar arti madhyahan bhog (sweets, milk products) is offered.
After madhyahan bhog darshan (viewing of lord) is kept open for some time. In this way darshan is open up to 12 O'clock. After 12:00 at noon there is a time for Rajbhog.
Rajbhog is the main bhog (food offered) to Lord Dwarkadhish. Sakhadi (chapattis, puri, dal, rice, vegetable) is offered in this course only. They also offer various sweets, and farsans (fried, tasty article of food made of pulses). Thus it will be complete bhog. All these things are prepared by pujaris of the temples only. They use everything (ingredients), which is stored at the temple. Nothing is offered to Lord Dwarkadhish, which is prepared outside of the temple premises. They offer only things, which are prepared in the mandir's place and prepared by their pujaris only. They use the material, which is stored in the mandir. They offered those things only to Shreejee. (Lord Dwarkadhish)
This is the time when Lord Dwarkadhish takes rest after Rajbhog. About at 1:00 PM, after completing the Rajbhog pujari keeps gadi - takiya (bed and pillows) near the swaroop of Shreejee (idol of lord).
Meanwhile soft drink made of saffron and misari (sugar) and water is kept beside lord's bed. They also keep pan-bida (a betel leaf's spiced roll) along with it as mukhavas (things taken after taking any food, like mouth freshener)
After Rajbhog it is believed that the Lord is taking rest they keep the curtain down and darshan is not available for some time. About 1:00 PM. Darshan is closed for vaishnavas and devotees. This is called Anosar.
Thus the doors of shrine are closed at 1:00 PM. And they reopen at 5:00 PM. again
At 5:00 in the evening the Lord is waken up by the ringing of bell. At this time lord Dwarkadhish has taken rest. Once again doors of the shrine open for the devotees and they can have darshan of lord.
Then pujaris offers perfume and paste off sandalwood to Dwarkadhish. Then they offer Mevabhog. This includes seasonal fruits and dry fruits. Then pujari performs Puja and Archana with chanting of Shree Vishnu Sahastranam. (Thousand names of Vishnu), He offers petal of basil with chanting of each name of Vishnu. Thus Pujan-archan is completed with chanting of thousand name of Vishnu.
Shyanbhog and Shyan arti
After sandhya arti they offer Shayanbhog to shree Dwarkadhish. During his bhog, darshan is not available for devotees. Only pujaris remain there. Around 9:00 PM. Shayan arti is performed. After shayan arti all the ornaments and clothes which worn to the lord are removed. This is called ' shringar bada karna' And about 9:30PM. Dwarkadhish goes to bed. Then darshan is also closed for devotees and other public. Due to Janmashtami Utsav the rest time is about 1 hour. It is around up to at 10:30 Pm. With a view to celebration of this special festival series of darshan is preceded.
Around 11:00 PM. they adorn the lord Dwarkadhish for this very special day with profuse gold jewellary and ornaments made of diamonds topaz and other precious stones. The shringar of shree Dwarkadhish is alluring.
Around 11:30 PM. The Utsav bhog is offered to the Lord. Though there is curtain. And everything is done in the shrine behind it people cannot watch it but they come inside the temple and wait there for the darshan of arti. They sing bhajans in front of Lord Dwarkadhish.
The whole temple is crowded with devotees. They go on rampage and welcome Lord Shree Krishna's birth exactly at 12.00pm mid night [IST], with
Nand Gher Anand Bhayo- Jay Kanaiya Lal Ki.......
The Mahabhog is offered to lord Krishna at 2:00 AM. It is normally a small annakut. After offering the Mahabhog darshan is closed at 3:00 PM.
Thus the series of darshan for Janmashtami is completed.
The day following Janmashtami at 7:00 AM Mangla arti is performed and pujari does Puja and archana.
They put the Bal swaroop (baby Krishna) of Shree Krishna outside of the shrine in cradle. They feel themselves lucky as they are the part of this special event and they swing the cradle of lord Krishna and feel fulfillment. Thus the festival of Janmashtami is completed at Jagat mandir at Dwarka.