In the Gaudiya-Vaishnava school, the Jhulan Yatra, is one of the glorious festivals, is held for five days, starting from Pabitraropini Ekadashi to Sri Balarama Purnima in the holy month of Shravana. This Shravani Purnima is also called Jhulan Purnima or Rakhi festival. The celebration of this festival was started to commemorate the Radha-Krishna’s sublime Jhulan-lila in Vrindavan in the age of Dwapara and till that time it is being continued. Being the part of ISKCON, Swamibag Ashram celebrates this festival jubilantly based on the instructions of Srila Prabhupada.
Radha-Govinda, the presiding Deities of ISKCON Swamibag, are gorgeously decorated with various flowers, fruits, leaves and so many other paraphernalia and are transferred from main altar to Jhulan-vedi with offering many delicious bhoga. Then after, people from different parts get chance to swing Them to receive immense mercy and offer their prayers to the Deities. The temple courtyard becomes joyful with Holy Name and different Vaishnava- bhajans and the devotees overjoy with divine love.
Thousands of years ago, this swinging festival had been observed with great love and devotion in Vrindavan. That time, the kunjas were in the deeply planted garden, trees were flourishing with new leaves and flowers, bees were humming, birds like parakeets, cuckoos were singing lucidly. In the deep night of Purnima, moreover, the full moon was lit with full luminosity, the gentle breeze was flowing, the devotees immersed into love in such a joyful day.
Srimati Radharani, is great lover of Lord Krishna, along with other sakhis, left their temple to the Kunja way for the sake of Jhulana Festival. Then, the joy of swing started at that very moment. Sri Sri Radha- Govinda was swing into an ecstasy rock in the rhythm of music and dance.

Seeing this pastime, Vaishnava poet Govinda Das sings–

hansa gamanē dhanī,                         ā’ōla binōdinī

sakhigaṇa kari sē’i sātha

rasika nāgara raba,               bidagdha śēkhara

turitē milala dhanī pāśa..

Indeed, this pastime is still happening in Vrindavan. “Kōna bhāgyabāna dēkhibārē pāẏa.” Those who get perfection in their worship, they can still hear the music of the Jhulan Yatra and joyful sound.

Jhuki jhuki jhulāẏata,                    sakala sakhigaṇa,

hēri ānandē mātiẏā.

Dhini kaṭa dhiẏā tathaiẏā rōla,           bājē mr̥daṅga mōhana rōla,

titinā titinā tātiẏā.

At the Jhulan festival, the gods and goddesses, Gandharva and heaven’s fairy are also danced in their premises. What about the people!

Dēkhi sakhigaṇē,                     katahum̐ yatanē

śutāẏala dōhē tāẏa

Sakhira iṅgitē,            caraṇa sēbitē

ē dāsa baiṣṇaba dhāẏa..

Radha-Govinda will have to be offered bhoga at Bhogmandir with the help of Sakhis after cooking the special recipe for Jhulan festival. After completion of offering bhoga, they are to be slept with spraying fragrant water in a sleeping temple.

This trend is still prevalent in human society today. In Dola yatra, the rocker is swinging in the north-south and in Jhulan it is in the east-west. The ceremony is held at the temple premises rather than inside the temple, so that devotees of all classes would be blessed. Leaving the temple with compassion, Their Lordship meet the devotees; thus a great ambience is created. At this time, anyone from any class can take the advantage of having the grace of Their Lordship through their participation in the swinging rocks. This is a shining example of the Lord, comes into the world to be worshiped and thus bestows blessings.  This swinging festival increases love for God, in others word, Love for Krishna.

Updated: 14th December, 2021