Goloka Vrindavan or Vaikunthdham is Krishna’s “heaven”. It is described in the Brahma-samhita texts as a “cintamani-dhama”, a place where all desires are fulfilled. The palaces are made of black jasper, dotted with “wish trees” that provide all kinds of food on demand and cows that give milk at will. It is symbolically the transcendental form of the god, the ultimate destination of life which, when reached, frees us from the material world.This statue continued to be venerated for centuries and centuries after the Pandavas until the Mughal invasions when the idol was immersed in a lake to escape looting. It remained there for many years until it was rediscovered by Sura Ji, a Gurjar cowherd. The story goes that Sura Gurjar had gone with his cow to distant pastures when he noticed that day after day the cow gave no more milk; someone, apparently, came to milk her discreetly during the night. One evening he lay awake and saw with amazement that the milk was coming out of his cow’s udder by itself. It was then that Lord Krishna appeared before him and asked him to take the idol out of the water and resume his worship. Since then, this statue is revered by the descendants of Sura Ji’s family and the entire Gurjar community. Nowadays, nearly 500 Gurjar families take turns in the temple for maintenance and rituals.
In Hinduism, Sutak is a time of seclusion when a child is born (and after a person dies). Family members of the newborn observe a Sutak period of 10 to 20 days depending on the community. They refrain from going to temples or attending ceremonies, for example. However, the general environment is jubilant and joyful. The new mother stays in her room with her newborn baby and they don’t go outside the house. The reason for this is that in ancient times there were many incurable diseases; this isolation allowed both mother and child not to be contaminated during a stage of physical weakness.On Jhal Jhulni, the Uthsavar, the “double” of the temple statue, goes out in procession to Lake Dooth Talai, one kilometer from the village, in a silver palanquin carried by Gurjar men. The very compact crowd moves with difficulty while the powders of color break over the participants, so much so that after the procession, the streets of the village seem covered with a thick pink carpet. The statue’s clothes are washed in the lake and then, after several rituals, the idol is returned to the temple. Jhal Jhulni is undoubtedly one of the festivals of Rajasthan not to be missed!