Sunday, 3 February 2013

Banke Bihari Mandir, Vrindavan..........14513

Banke Bihari Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, in the holy city of Vrindavan in the Mathura district. Banke Bihari was originally worshiped at Nidhivana. Banke means “bent in three places” and bihari means “supreme enjoyer.” The image of Lord Krishna stands in the Tribhanga posture. Haridas Swami originally worshipped this devotional image under the name of Kunj-bihari ("Enjoyer of Lakes").

Krishna upholding the Govardhan mountain in the Tribhunga stance
--VisualLite (talk) 18:30, 28 August 2012 (UTC)Banke Bihari was called Banke because:
bānke means bent and bihāri or vihāri means enjoyer.
kṛṣṇa is well known as tir-bhangi, bent in three places.
Following is the description of Brahma.
Śrī Brahma-saḿhitā 5.31
ratnāńgadaḿ praṇaya-keli-kalā-vilāsam
śyāmaḿ tri-bhańga-lalitaḿ niyata-prakāśaḿ
govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi
ālola — swinging; candraka — with a moon-locket; lasat — beautified; vana-mālya — a garland of flowers; vaḿśī — flute; ratna-ańgadam — adorned with jeweled ornaments; praṇaya — of love; keli-kalā — in pastimes; vilāsam — who always revels; śyāmam — Śyāmasundara; tri-bhańga — bending in three places; lalitam — graceful; niyata — eternally; prakāśam — manifest; govindam — Govinda; ādi-puruṣam — the original person; tam — Him; aham — I; bhajāmi — worship.
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, round whose neck is swinging a garland of flowers beautified with the moon-locket, whose two hands are adorned with the flute and jeweled ornaments, who always revels in pastimes of love, whose graceful threefold-bending form of Śyāmasundara is eternally manifest.
Just a small comment on one of the answerer who said bānke means ban ke:
the ā in bānke is long ā the a in ban ke is short a so bānke and ban ke are not the same, though it refers to kṛṣṇa bānke bihāri is the enjoyer who is bent ban ke bihāri is enjoyer of the forest.


This Banke Bihari Temple was established by Swami Haridas, a guru of the famous singer Tansen,Lalita sakhi in the Dyapar Yuga.Once, during the Mughal conquest, a Hindu priest had a murti of Lord Krishna. Fearing that the murti could get into the hands of the Mughals and be destroyed, he buried the image. After some days, Swami Haridas, a great devotee of Lord Krishna, was passing by through the area where the image of Lord Krishna was buried. Becoming tired, he decided to rest there and soon fell asleep. In a dream, he saw Lord Krishna telling him that his image was buried near where he was sleeping and asked him to start digging. Upon waking, Swami Haridas dug the ground in the area Lord Krishna had indicated and found the image. He then enshrined the image in what is now the Banke Bihari Temple. Apart from the image treasured at the Banke Bihari Temple, the idol is half- body male and other half female that means the Right side is Krishna and the Left side is Radha. It is believed that Swami Shree Hari Dass je, by praising and singing hymns in the form of ragas called bhajans, asked God to be united and be present in the form of Banke Bihari in this yuga in Nidhivan in Vrindavan. The lines below are self descriptive. Kunj Bihari Shree Hari Dass Vitthal Vipul Biharan Dass Mohe mile Nidhivan Vaas

History of Bankey Bihari Ji
The image 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 disappering.
Swami Haridas ji was born to Shri Ashudhir and his wife Smt Gangadevi on the day of Radha Ashtami i.e. eighth day of second (bright) fortnight of Bhadrapad month of the year 1535 Vikrami(1478 A.D.). He was born in a small village, now known as Haridaspur, near Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. The linage of the family can be traced back to Shri Gargacharya. Shri Gargachrya was the kulguru (family guru) of Yadavs and visited Brij secretly for conducting the Namkaran Samskar (naming ceremony) of young Krishna and Balram on request of Sri Vasudev. A branch of the family migrated to Multan (now in Pakistan), but some of them returned after a long time. Sri Ashudhir was one such migrant who after returning from Multan settled at the outskirts of Brij, near Aligarh.
Swami Haridas was the reincarnation of Lalita ‘sakhi’ (female friend), of the inner consortium of Lord Krishna. This easily explains the fact that even in his childhood, he was more into meditation and scriptures, while other children of his age were busy playing. He was married at the suitable age according to the time to Harimati. Even after his marriage, young Haridas stayed away from worldly pleasures and concentrated on meditation. Harimatiji was such a saintly soul herself that on realizing the inclination of her husband, she prayed intensely and was bodily transported to the heavenly abode of Lord by entering the flame of a small lamp in the presence of Haridas. No physical remains were left behind!
Soon after that Haridas left his village for Vrindavan, which was a dense forest at that time and chose a secluded spot, which is now known as Nidhivan, to practice his music and to enjoy eternal bliss of meditation. He constantly and continuously meditated on Nitya Ras and Nitya Bihar of Lord at Nitya Vrindavan. His way of Sadhna was to compose and sing songs in the praise of Lord. While on earth, living in a mortal state, he facilitated his regular unobstructed entry in the Nitya Bihar and always enjoyed the pleasure of closeness of Lord. He chose a secluded and densely forested area, Kunj, in Nidhivan as his gateway to the nirvana and was mostly sitting there, singing, meditating and surfing in the ocean of eternal bliss.
His disciples were curious about this place and one day with permission of Swamiji, they all entered the kunj. But instead of seeing anything they were almost blinded by bright, intense light, which seemed to fill the whole place. On knowing of their plight Swamiji himself went there, and then after his requests, lord appeared in person with his divine consort, pleasantly smiling and in a playful mood and casting a spell of charm on every living being present there. Those who witnessed this, were so spell bounded by the beauty of the Lord and his consort, that they couldn’t even blink their eyes, it seemed that all of them had turned into stone statues.
The legend as handed down to the generations of Goswamis, says that the beauty of the divine couple was such that no one wanted to loose the sight and proximity of divinity, but then what kind of divinity is it, which cannot make a mere mortal swoon and charmed enough to forget and give up the world and its luxuries? The beauty of the divine couple was so much that lesser mortals, like you and me, won’t be able to bear such a heavenly beauty. Sensing this Swami Haridasji requested both of them 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 thel 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.
Thus came into existence the physical form of Lord Banke Bihari, popularly know as Bihariji. The responsibility of Sewa of Bihariji was handed over to Goswami Jagannath by Swamiji himself. Goswami Jagannath was one of the principal disciple and younger brother of Swamiji. By tradition, the Sewa is performed by descendents of Jagannath Goswami till day.
Initially the deity was installed in a temple close to the first appearance in Nidhivan. A new temple befitting the glory of Bihariji was constructed in 1862 AD. Goswamis themselves mobilized resources for the construction. The temple is an architectural beauty in itself and follows the contemporary Rajasthani style.
The sewa 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.
So, the temple today stands with its full glory, inside which the Lord himself resides. It is thronged by thousands of visitors everyday.


During Jhulan Yatra, the swing festival of Lord Krishna. There are a number of silver-plated and some solid silver ornamented swings, which are shown at this time. The main day of Jhulan Yatra is the third day of the waxing moon, at which time Banke Bihari is placed on a golden swing (hindola). The curtain before the Deities is not left open like at other temples. Every few minutes the curtain is pulled shut and then opened again. It is said that the brilliant eyes of Banke Bihari will make you unconscious if seen for too long a stretch. It is the only temple where loud temple bells are not used to wake Krishna in the morning. It is believed improper to wake a child with a start. He is woken gently. There are thus no bells even for Aarti, as it might disturb Him.
The Deities do not get up until 9 am, because it is believed that Banke Bihari has been up until late at night sporting. Mangala-arati is only one day a year in this temple, on Janmasthami. Only one day a year can the lotus feet of the Deity be seen, on Akshaya Tritiya (Chandan Darshan or Dolotsav), on the third day of the bright half of the month of Vaishaka (April–May). The autumn full moon day is the only day that the Deity holds a flute, and also on this day He wears a special mukut (crown). Banke Bihari comes off his altar and can be seen in full view on the last five days of the month of Phalguna, during the Holi festival. He can be seen with four gopis, who are seen just at this time.


  • Summers: The temple opens around 7 am and aarti happens between 7:45 and 8:00am. Darshan is at 12 noon and in evening 5:30 to 9:30 pm.
  • Winter: Darshan is 8:45 am to 1 pm, 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm, and all the time in your heart. 
  •  Banke Bihari Temple Main Gate
  •  The Bankey Bihari temple, Vrindavan is amongst the holiest and famous temples of Krishna in India. Shri Swami haridas got Bankey bihari ji appeared in Nidhivan. The idol of Thakur Ji is much older and was worshipped in Nidhivan till 1863. This temple was constructed in 1864 with the contribution of Goswamis. After constructing of temple, Goswamis transferred the idol to this temple. 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 flower 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 misery. As soon as someone meets with Thakur ji, he becomes dedicating himself to Thakur ji. Kind hearted Thakur ji demolish his problem and bless him with His divine grace how far he is.
  •  The great saint, musician Swami Haridas ji was not only the nurturer of creative talents in music like Tansen and VaijuBawra but also the greatest saint of all time based in Nidhivan, Vrindavan. He was born in Samwat 1535(year1478) at Haridaspur near Aligarh. Haridasji was incarnated in Saraswat Brahmin Family. His father’s name was Ashudhir and mother’s name was GangaDevi. He spent his 25 years in Haridaspur enlightening his divine virtues. In the age of 25 he gave up all worldly pleasures and came to Nidhivan, Vrindavan to seek immortal ecstasy.
    In Nidhivan, he discovered the woods of love, the play ground of Radha-Krishna. His experiences in Nidhivan with Radha-krishna’s love, sport appear to him as beams of light, dancing with Ragas and raginis, creating the heavenly form of beauty. The two merging with each other created ocean of Ragas that is ‘Shri Bihariji’. Haridas ji dedicated his music and all ragas and raginis to supreme of universe ‘Shri Bankey Bihari ji’. Whatever he witnessed, he sang about it in trance documented in 'Kelimal's 110 stanzas'. besides it, he wrote eighteen verses on the core wisdom of all philosophies 'Ashtadas siddhant ke pad'. he was the originator of 'Sakhi Samprday'

    Akbar's visit to Swami Shri Haridas

    Mian Tansen was one among the navratnas of the court of Akbar. Tansen achieved this position by virtue of being an outstanding musician of Hindustani classic style. He not only could sing and play the rage to such perfection that lamps will lighten up as he sang Deepak rage etc, but he developed many new rages and styles by fusion of traditional and contemporary streams of music. Grand music festivals are held in his honor in various parts of India till today and the name Tansen has become almost a household name in northern India.

    In the royal Mogul court, the king profusely greeted Tansen after one of the performances, "Tansen, you sing so well, you handle your instrument so perfectly, your voice is so mesmerizing, I tend to believe you being the greatest musician of all times." Mian Tansen submitted humbly, "Respected Sir, it is a great honor to hear such kind words of encouragement, but the fact remains my music is nothing in comparision to that of my guru, Swami Haridas." Surprised the king said, "Swami Haridas? I have never heard this name. In which royal court does he sing?" Tansen replied, "Right you are Sir, you have not heard his name for the simple reason that he is not a royal singer. He is ascetic of highest order, living in Vrindavan, sitting on Yamuna banks he sings in the praise of universal lord, cosmic couple in the name of Shyama Shyam, or, Priya Priyatam." The curiosity of Akbar increased, "Will a musician, much better than Tansen, give up the royal patronage and resolve to stay in forests, in hermitage deprived of all city amenities? If there exists such a person, he must be truly divine. I must travel to Vrindavan along with Tansen and meet the saint. I must invite him to royal court so that all of us are benefited by his presence."

    As he explained his desire to Tansen, the latter contested the idea saying Swamiji does not travel out of Brijmandal, and if the king wanted to hear him, he should rather travel to Vrindavan. Tansen explained further, "If you want to hear him singing a natural way, we should go to him as ordinary citizens avoiding royal paraphernalia. The pomp and show associated with royal entourage is likely to interfere with the natural semblance there." Akbar appreciated the idea and decided to travel alone with Tansen, disguised as his attendant.

    ******** ************************ **

    Swamiji was not keeping well for quite a few days. He was running high fever and was on tulsi patra and Yamuna jal to purify his body. Though well built, he had gone quite weak in those days. Still he got up early in the morning as usual, took a holy dip in Yamuna and sat in the samaj (collective singing of devotional songs) with his disciples. Today, he was trembling due to fever and stopped singing. He was only listening to music with closed eyes. Devotees were coming from far and near and paying their respect at the nearby Bihariji Mandir and at the feet of Swami Shri Haridas. Everybody wanted Swamiji to get well soon, so they could hear his melodious voice at least during their next visit.

    Tansen came with an attendant carrying his Tanpoora (musical instrument) and bowed at the feet of his guru, attendant too paid respect. Somebody called his attention, "Swamiji, Mian Tansen has come." Swamiji opened his eyes, looked at Tansen and the attendant, smiled and welcomed them. "Tansen, join and lead the samaj" commanded Swamiji. Tansen took hold of his Tanpoora, joined the group and started singing. Somehow he was not comfortable today, samaj lost his coherence. Swamiji was listening with closed eyes. He opened his eyes looked at Tansen, who bowed his head. Again he looked at the attendant, who too bowed his head. Swamiji smiled. Taking off the cloth wrapped around his shoulders, Swamiji called his principal disciples, "Vithal, take this gudari (cloth) and place it on that nearby tree and get my tanpoora. Lord is commanding me to sing." Vithal did exactly as he was told to do. Swamiji pulled up his tanpoora, ran his finger up and down its strings, gently playing with it he started singing. Other disciples joined and the samaj was resumed. Tansen set aside his tanpoora, stopped singing and just looked at his attendant who was totally lost in Swamiji’s music. Swamiji looked much healthier now, his face wearing the usual glow, as if he was not ill at all but the gudari hanging on the tree was trembling as if it was carrying the high fever which Swamiji was suffering from. The samaj continued for quite long, Swamiji was leading it and everyone enjoyed, particularly the attendant who came along with Tansen. He almost lost his consciousness, eyes closed, head shaking slowly, fingers tapping gently at thighs, an expression of fulfillment on his face; it seemed as if he has transcended this world to reach eternal Vrindavan.

    As samaj came to an end, Swamiji opened his eyes, set aside his tanpoora, and looked at the gathering. The attendant came back to conscious state took off his headgear and bowed to Swamiji in dandvat (prostrate). Swamiji touched his head, his fingers running through the beautiful locks of the attendant, he said, "Get up, O King of India, your desire is fulfilled." The attendant, who was no one else but Akbar in disguise, got the shock of his life, gathering his wits, he said, "I do realize there is nothing to hide from a man of God like you. As you know everything let me confess, Tansen sang out of tune just to prompt you to sing, so that I could hear you O great saint. Kindly forgive both of us." As the dialogue proceeded, Akbar wanted to know how swamiji who was looking ill and pale when they came, became healthy and cheerful in just over a few minutes. Swamiji drew his attention to the gudari hanging and shaking on the tree and explained that the disease is presently arrested in that gudari and it will return to him as soon as he would wrap it around himself. The king was impressed. He went to the temple to have darshan of Bihariji, went around Yamuna and enjoyed the serene environs of Vrindavan.

    Coming back to Swamiji, Akbar offered to construct a huge temple for Shri Biharriji and attach large tracts of revenue yielding land to it to make a prosperous establishment. Swamiji dismissed all his proposals with a gentle smile and saying, "My lord always roams around in forests."

    The name Kunj Bihari, as Swami Haridasaddressed his beloved Thakurji, means the supreme enjoyer of woods/ forests. As such, Swamiji never wanted to impose state patronage on the universal Lord, would that not mean belittling the Greatest of all?

    The king persisted. Though he had realized that the sage was genuinely uninterested in any of his offers, he still wanted to leave a mark of his visit to Vrindavan in some form. When he repeatedly requested Swamiji to grant him opportunity to do something for Vrindavan at least, Swamiji said, "You are so persistent and have such a keen desire, kindly get one of the broken stairs of Yamuna Ghat repaired." He directed his disciples to guide King to the broken stair. Akbar was now really disappointed. The thought the sage may be a great musician but seems to be mad at the same time. He is telling me, the King of Hindustan to get a damaged stair repaired? I am the one who have constructed huge forts and nosques and now they are taking me to show the broken stair which I should get repaired? What a joke? But better sense prevailed on him; he kept his cool and followed the saints. As he reached Yamuna bank and the accompanying saint pointed to broken stair, the scene before him changed in a flash. What he was now seeing was not ordinary stone-mortar masonry, but he saw the ghat made up of precious metals (gold and silver) and studded with rare gems. Rubys, diamonds, sapphires, emeralds etc of such high purity and size were studded so generously that it was impossible to estimate the cost. Even then he tried to look at the broken corner and found on comparision with other corner, that he would not be able to get the matching gems for repair even if he was hundred times richer and spent all his fortune for this repair.

    Now he knew the real nature of Swamiji. The scene changed again, now the ghat appeared to be ordinary stone-mortar masonry, but Akbar did not dare to undertake the repairs. Disillusioned, he walked back to Swamiji, bowed to him in dandvat, admitted his incapacity to touch anything in Vrindavan and left for Delhi along with Mian Tansen.


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