Hariyali Teej

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After the scorching heat of the summer, when the rains come, all the living entities experience great delight in their hearts and feel rejuvenated and refreshed by the torrential downpours from the heavens. The forests of Vraja once again become lush green and the ponds, lakes and other water reservoirs fill up to the brim with the rain water, making them appear very beautiful. The gently blowing breezes often carry droplets of water with them removing the fatigue of all the vrajavasis and the smell of the damp earth after the rain is most pleasing to the senses of one and all. The plants burst into bloom, spreading the aroma of the flowers in all the directions and intoxicating the bees so that they blissfully buzz around in the forests of Vrindavan.

Seeing the beauty of the forest of Vrindavan in the monsoon season, all the inhabitants of Vraja become jubilant and celebrate the coming of the rainy season with various festivities on the third day of the Shukla paksha in the month of Shravan. This festival is famous in Vraja as Hariyali teej. The meaning of the word Hariyali is greenery, and therefore on this day, everyone wears green colored clothes and cook various delectable preparations for the occasion. Upon the arrival of the rainy season, the daughter of Vrishabhanu Maharaja, Srimati Radhika, eagerly awaits her brother Sridam to come and take her to her parents’ house from the house of her in-laws, as would happen each year. The day before Hariyali teej Sridam comes to the house of Jatila with numerous gifts from Maharaj Vrishabhanu and, with her permission, he takes his sister Radhika with him to Barsana, where she stays with her parents for a few months before returning to her husband’s house. Maharaj Vrishabhanu and Kirtida devi embrace Radhika with great bliss, their hearts overflowing with parental affection for their dear daughter, who is their very life and soul. After offering her respects and meeting her parents in this way, Srimati Radhika starts residing in her home with great pleasure. Now that she was no longer under the strict scrutiny of her mother-in-law and sister-in-law, Srimati Radhika eagerly awaited performing sweet pastimes with her beloved Sri Shyamsundar. Understanding her mood and desire, the Sakhis set up beautiful swings hanging from tall Kadamba trees. They then place the fair and dark complexioned divine couple Sri Radha Shyam on the swings and sing various beautiful songs for their pleasure. Thus, Hariyali teej also marks the beginning of the swing pastimes of the divine couple in Vraja.

In Sridham Vrindavan, on the occasion of Hariyali teej, all the temples are profusely decorated with green leaves and numerous flowers, and the deities are dressed in gorgeous green garments. This day also marks the beginning of Jhulan yatra in many of the temple in Vrindavan, which will then continue on till Balaram Purnima.