Dahi Handi is celebrated on the next day of Janmashtami, during Nanda Utsav. Maharashtra is famed for its adventurous sport of Dahi Handi that is hanged up in sky-high heights. Govindas form human pyramids to reach up to the Dahi Handi that is usually filled with butter milk and silver coins. People around make the sport more daring when they splash water on govindas to prevent them from grabbing the Handi. Several teams come prepared and compete with each other at different places in the city.
Dahi Handi though portrays the playful and adoringly mischievous attitude of Krishna, it also carries a profound philosophy behind it. The pot is the ego or the sense of the body mind identification that dangles in the grasp of Samsara. The butter or Dahi which forms the content is embodied as the essence, or the being. The Lord breaks the pot or the ego to release the content from the binding Samsara. His eagerness to savour it reveals the bliss that one enjoys on realising the true essence or the true self.
On the occasion of Janmashtami, the dresses that have been stitched for the deity are mostly of yellow colour, because yellow colour is the favourite of Lord Krishna.
In some places either Human pyramids are formed to reach the pot or the contestants are given a stick to hit the pots when they are brought down by the means of a pully. It is definitely a challenging game to get hold of it as eager contestants make their way up to it, water is sprayed on them continuously by the onlookers to distract them.
Dahi handi breaks religious barriers as mandals are peppered with Muslims, Christians and South Indians who give it a secular flavour. Today Dahi Handi and Janmashtami is celebrated by all and there is nothing religion in the celebration.
Lord Krishna’s birth is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm in International society for Krishna consciousness, popularly known as ISKCON was founded by Swami Prabhupada. The devotees are mesmerized by the songs depicting Lord Krishna’s arrival. The idol is well embellished with flowers. An offering of 108 dishes to Lord Krishna known as ‘Bhog’ takes place at midnight and thereafter it is distributed among devotees.
Lets us hence celebrate Dahi Handi grasping the philosophy behind it and seek the Lord’s blessings to realise our true self.
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