During the period of Jhula Mahotsava 2010, two very special events occurred at Shri Golok Dham Ashram Vrindavan.
Visit of Mahamandaleshwara Swami Shri Gurusharananand Ji Maharaj, Pithadhishwar of Raman Reti, Gokul.
Swami Shri Gurusharananand Ji is presently the presiding Acharya over the Ashram complex at Shri Raman Reti in Gokul, a holy spot in Vraja for all Vaishnavas – where Shri Krishna, Shri Balaram and the other Gops used to play in the soft sands. Maharaj is extremely scholarly and divinely radient. He and Shri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj were in Banaras at the same time during their studenthood and as such have remained divine friends.
As such, Swami Shri Gurusharananand Ji Maharaj visited Shri Golok Dham Ashram along with three other senior Sadhus of his Ashram. They performed an elaborate Puja of Bhagavan Shri Sharaneshwara Mahadev before proceeding to have darshan of the other deities in Shri Golok Dham Ashram before having Darshan of Thakur Shri Shri Radha Golokavihari Ji Bhagavan. Afterwards Maharaj ji had Satsang with Shri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj and then honoured Maha Prasadam before returning to Shri Raman Reti.
Samaj Gayan at Shri Golok Dham Ashram by 11 renounced Saints of the Nimbarka Tradition.
Shri Nimbarka Sampradaya has a long tradition of Samaj Gayan, which is the traditional congregational singing of the divine Padas written by the Acharyas of the Shri Nimbarka Sampradaya. It is sung in the most ancient style of music which is comparable to the Dhrupada Genre of classical Indian music.
This music style originated from Shri Narad Muni, the Guru of Shri Nimbarka Bhagavan. It was popularised throughout India by Swami Shri Haridas Ji, the Sangeet Guru of Mian Tansen and Baiju Bawra and renowned saint of Shri Nimbarka Sampradaya in the 15th Century. Before him, Shri Jayadev Kavi Ji Maharaj, the author of Shri Gitagovinda (in Orissa) made the style famous as it is highly conducive to devotional experience and expression of divine love to God.
The Padas that are sung were written down by the disciples of the founder of Vraj Bhasha Devotional Poetry to God, in the late 14th Century, Swami Shri Shribhatta Ji Maharaj. Shribhatt Ji was the highest category of Vaishnava saint – he daily had Darshan and interaction with the Divine Couple in Shri Vrindavan Dham. Before Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Vrindavan, Swami Shri Shribhatta and his disciples would come in the mornings and begin their worship. In the evening they would leave, and return to their Ashram in Mathura, as no Vaishnava would want to pollute the Holy Dham. Only after Shri Chaitanya Ji came to Vrindavan did people begin to live there permanently.
Swami Shri Shribhatta would enter into meditation on Vanshi Vata in Vrindavan and would listen to what the Sakhis would sing to the Lord in the Nityalila. He would sing this and his disciples would record them. The collection of these padas is known as the Aadivaani Shri Yugala Shatak, in which all the leelas of the Lord are detailed.
His disciple, and the next Jagadguru of the Nimbarka Sampradaya, Swami Shri Harivyasa Devacharya Ji Maharaj, in the early 15th Century in Vrindavan, composed the Mahavani in the same manner. This compilation of Padas is regarded throughout the Vaishnava world as the highest Rasas of devotion. Indeed these compositions are sung by members of all Vaishnava traditions.
By singing these compositions to the Lord, many thousands of devotees have experienced the highest devotional bliss. So, for the pleasure of the Lord Thakur Shri Shri Radha Golokavihari Ji Bhagavan, Shri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj arranged for the Samajis (the Saints who sing the Padas) to stay at the Ashram during the Jhoola Mahotsav of the Lord so that the wonderful Jhula-related Padas could be sung for Their pleasure.
Please click on the thumbnails below for the bigger picture.