Gopashtami - Kartik Shukla 8
Today is the utsav of Gopashtami. Dehli Bandan Maal (i.e. Toran) are tied and Today abhyang is done to Shree Prabhu. Today Shree Prabhu is offered the Last Shrungar of Mukuta because during Shitkal (i.e winter), Maan etc leelas are done by Shree Prabhu and Shree Swaminiji and not Raas. Thus, from today mukuta is not offered for entire winter. Today Shrungar aarti is performed with the bhav of Yasodaji. The importance of this day is, when Shree Nand Raj kumar became of 5 years, Shree Prabhu for the first time did the leela of Gocharan i.e. Cow Herding. Thus this is known as Gop – Ashtami i.e. the Leela done with Go i.e. Cows or Indriyas (i.e. Senses) of Bhaktas. Gop Balaks does the ashtang (i.e.with the 8 different times and types ) seva of Cows and thus today i.e. on 8th of Kartik Shukla, Shree Prabhu for the first time went for Gocharan. Pushtimarg is the only marg where cows are nourished, and flourished well Shree Nandandan Shree Krishna for the entire life did the gocharan leela. Due to the leela of Gocharan only, Shree Prabhu came to be known as “Gopala” i.e. the protector of Cows or Indriyas (11 senses of Bhaktas). Cow is the swaroop of Bhaktas and one of the swaroopas of Haridas varya Shree Girirajji. Jagad Guru Shree Mahaprabhuji also, bought a cow for the seva of Shreenathji. Also, the Left Shree Hast (i.e. left arm of Shreeji) appeared for the time due to the consecration with Milk of cow.
In the Nikunj leela, Shree Prabhu goes for the cow herding and does the ras daan to Nitya Siddha Bhaktas, divine animals, Birds, Gopas, and Cows. Firstly Shree Prabhu goes to Ter Kadamb, after that, Madhuvan, Kamod van etc
Q. In other ghars, Shreeji is offered Kunvara but not to Shree Shreenathji of Nathdwara, Why?
Ans: Daan Ekadashi, Sharad Utsav and Gopashtami, these three utsavs are the avatar leelas, thus shreeji is not offered kunvara because shreeji does these leelas Nitya (i.e. Always) in Golok Dham. Shree Shreenathji is the swaroop of Golokdham. Other swaroopas are the Swaroopas with the bhav of Nandalaya. Thus other swaroopas are offered kunvara with respect to Utsav but Shreeji is not since it’s a Niyta Leela.
Q. Gopashtami kirtans are sung for three days from Gopashtami. Why?
Ans: Shree Prabhu did the gocharan with Cows of Three Lokas, or with the cows of all three types of Gunas i.e. Satvik, Rajas and Tamas, thus three days.
Also Shreenathji does not accept the offered Rajbhog until and unless apshri gets the Khabar (i.e. Intimation) from Mukhiyaji of Goshala for the well being of all cows.
Today Cows are offered “Thuli”.