Jhulan Purnima 2024

19 August 2024
All States    Regional holiday

Jhulan-yatra or Jhulan Purnima is a festival to celebrate Radha Krishnas pastime of swinging on a golden swing every day until Balarama-Purnima. In temples, Radha and Krishna are decorated nicely and seated on a swing. All devotees wait patiently in a queue to swing the deities on the Jhula. The swing is adorned with splendid flower decorations, colourful beads, etc. A special flower rope is used to pull the swing. An aarti is performed after Sri Radha Madhava are seated on the swing, and devotees bring a variety of Bhoga to please the supreme gods. Kirtana and bhajans go on for hours and it is a festive environment.

Jhulan Yatra has been inspired from the swing pastimes of Krishna and his consort Radha during their romance in the idyllic pastoral groves of Vrindavan, where the divine lovers along with their cowherd friends and gopis took part in joyful swinging in the cool monsoon season. These pastimes are mentioned in literature such as the Bhagavata Purana, the Harivamsa, and the Gita Govinda, and the metaphor of the swing of the monsoon or Sawan Ke Jhuley has since been used by poets and songwriters to describe the romantic feeling that permeates the rainy season in the Indian subcontinent.

Many Hindu organizations, especially the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, observe Jhulan for five days. At Mayapur, the world headquarters of the ISKCON, deities of Radha and Krishna are decorated and placed on an ornate swing in the temple courtyard for devotees to swing their favourite deities using a flowery rope while offering flower petals amid bhajans and kirtans. They dance and sing the popular hymns Hare Krishna Mahamantra, Jaya Radhe, Jaya Krishna, Jaya Vrindavan, Jaya Radhe, Jaya Jaya Madhava and other devotional songs. A special aarti ritual is performed after the deities are placed on the swing, as devotees bring their bhog or food offerings for the divine couple.