Somavati Amavasya

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When the auspicious Amavasya tithi falls on a Monday, it is well known in Vraja as Somavati Amavasya, the day when the famous Bhandirvan mela takes place. Bhandirvan is one of the twelve forests of Vraja and the place where Sri Krishna and his dear cowherd boyfriends, when out grazing the calves, would take the lunch sent by their mothers under the cooling shade of the Vat tree. The cowherd boys would leave the cows for grazing in the nearby pastures and would play various games like wrestling, tug of war and others under the shade of this enormous tree, the branches of which were so spread out that the gopas would cross the river Yamuna on the branches of this most fortunate Banyan tree, who facilitated all these playful pastimes of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. It is in this forest only that Krishna and Balaram killed the demons Vatsasura and Pralambhasura. After having killed the demon Vatsasura, who had disguised himself as a calf, the gopis refused to let Krishna come close to them, stating that he was contaminated due to having killed a calf and must first atone for this by taking bath in all the holy tirthas. Hearing this statement of the Gopis, Krishna immediately made a well with the help of his flute and called all the tirthas in the well, after bathing in which he was excepted by the Gopis as being purified. This well then became known as Venu koop. On this auspicious day of Somavati Amavasya, the water in the Venu koop is said to transform into milk and a woman having difficulty in conceiving a child should bathe with the water from this well, which bestows upon the faithful woman a child.

This place is also famous for the pastime of the marriage of Srimati Radhika and Sri Krishna. Once Nandamaharaj was passing by Bhandirvan along with Krishna, who at the time was around four years of age. At that time, all of a sudden a heavy storm seemed to approach, which made Nandamaharaj concerned as he had Krishna with him. Just then a forest goddess, who was none other than Srimati Radhika in that form, appeared there and Nanda Maharaj requested her to take Krishna back home to Nandgaon as he had some work to do. When the Vanadevi, forest goddess, was taking Krishna back, they came under the Banyan tree in Bhandirvan and there they both transformed into Kishor and Kishori. All of a sudden all the Gopis appeared there and Lord Brahma along with all the demigods also came there, and they all started performing the marriage ceremony of Radharani and Krishna. With great jubilation, the ceremony was performed and after the completion of the ceremony, Radhe Shyam turned back to their former forms and returned back home.

On this auspicious day, devotees go to Bhandirvan and remember these beautiful pastimes of the Lord and his beloved associates.