p\gT Äh[ mirg r)t (dKie (Gujrati text)
"s[vi r)t)-p\)(t v\jjn k) jn
(ht jg p\gTie"
PUSHTIMARG OR THE PATH OF GRACE
In the "Hindu dharma"(religion) the lord who is revered most is the lord Shree Krishana.thejoy which the "gopi's"(women of vraj)of vraj experienced at the" Nandaalay"(house of ShreeKrishana-Gokul) is incomparable. Shree Mahaprabhuji who was the incarnation of the lord himself wanted such divine souls who had forgotten their lord and were indulging in various worldly activities to unite with lord and to experience the same joy that the gopi's had experienced. So Mahaprabhauji was ordained by the lord ShreeKrishna to initiate such souls to this Pushtimarg by Brahmasambandh. Shree Mahaprabhuji and his descendents (the Goswami balaks present on this earth)after the Brahm samabandh ordain their sevaks to do the"Seva"of the lord.The lord in the form of deity is to be worshipped by the vaishnavs.When such a seva or worship is done by the vaishnavs without any form of malice and with pure heart ,then Mahaprabhuji has promised us that such a person or persons will definiteley experience the same joy as that experienced by the gopi's of the Vraj.The gopi's are the symbol of love. They, by their intense love for ShreeKrishana, attained the supremre bliss ie;the union with the lord.
The duty of a vaishnav is to worship the lord, who resids in the form of a diety in his house ,by adorning him with new cloths,jewellery,headgear according to seasons and to appease him by making and offering him tasty items(Sweets and salty)known as "saamagris" that is peda,laddu, sev etc.In the present day and age there are many vaishnavs who do not know such things and there are many who can not offer such things to the lord due to financial restraints . To act according to pushtimarg is in it self a prime objective of our life and therein lies the richness of our life. For the Vaishnav sevak of the lord seva should be the only aim because without it life becomes meaningless. Worldly duties are performed but he should constantly remember the lord and never even for a moment forget him.
Shriji seva in Pushtimarag is done as we would take care of a child. (In "Maryada Marg" the worship is done by chanting of "Mantras".) During the day we do seva from "Mangla" to "Raajbhog" and in the evening from "Utthaapan" to "Shayan". The seva can be done by both rich and poor according to their means.
The lord does not differentiate between the rich and the poor. In this book I have tried to put forth various methods of seva done during the festivals. The ornaments and the other accessories adornedby the lord on a daily basis are shown in the photographs provided. Though there are are many ''Swaroops ''[dieties]of the lord worshipped by us Vaishnavs, Lord Govardhannathji is most popular and hence all the shringar Shown in this book has been adorned on his being,so that the people can easily understand. There are different swaroops like 'Madanmohanji'' Balkrishnalaalji, etc.. There may be little difference in their methods of seva and it may be due to their being in the "Bal Swaroop" and "Kshiore Swaroop". (As a child or as an adolescent)
Shri Mahaprabhuji has propounded this Pushti marg and Shri Gusainji has developed and spread it's message far and wide. During the time of Mahaprabhuji the "Shringar" of the Lord used to consist of "Mukut" (Crown), "Paag" (Head gear), "Dhoti" (Linen cloth wrapped around the waist), "Uparna" (Linen cloth thrown over the shoulders), "Chandrika" (Peacock feather adorning the lords head gear), "Gunja mala" (A garlang of Gunja beads) and "Phool Mala" (Garland of flowers).
Through the stories of "Choryasi Vaishnav" (84 main disciples of Shri Vallabhacharya) and "Basobaavan Vaishnav" (252 main disciples of Shri Gusainji). We come to know of the different feelings and emotions of this disciples and how they worshipped the lord and how their worship was accepted whole heartedly by the lord. There are both rich as well as poor Vaishnavs. The lord however never differentiates between them. The seva done by the Vaishnav, irrespective of their class and creed, if done with a single minded devotion and intense love for the lord is accepted by him. This defines the relation between the master (Shri Krishna) and disciple (sevak). Thus the main objective of the Sevak should be to keep his master happy.
This book tries to create and interest in the various "Shringas", "offerings" and "Vastra of the Thakorji" (Shriji). By going through this book you come to know of the different methods of doing the seva and there by be guided while doing your seva.
Shri Mahaprabhuji laid down a broad guideline on which Shri Gusainji by his artistic blend of nature has created a very fine and detailed mothod of seva which is done according to "Nandaalay" (House of Shriji). He has laid down the "Pranaalika" or the yearly calender of why, when, how and what should be offered to the lord.
According to the daily routine of Nandaalay the sevak should awaken the lord and offer him "Mangal Bhog"(Milk, curds, butter, sugar candy etc.). According to Nandaalay Shriji who is mischievous and irreprissible, "Shringar Bhog" is offered to keep him enticed so that he doesn't runaway and remain in one place and there by allow his mother to do his "Abhayang" (Ritualistic Bath) and adorn him with clothes "Vastra" and ornaments "Shringar".During "sheeth kaal" (winter) "Yashoda Maiya" (Mother of Shriji would make the lord to eat hot and warm food affectionately and then only allow him to go to the forest with his "Gwaal Bal" (Other cowherds) and "Sakha" (Friends) for herding the cow's. Keeping such feelings for the Thakorjiin mind Shri Gusainji has laid down in the "Pranalika" that during winter the Raajbhog is to be offered earlier in the day as compared to summer.
During the evening when the lord is still in the forest the "Pulindini", (women staying in the forest itself) offers refreshment to him in the form of fruits. At dusk he returns home along with his cow's. Yashodaji would then give him food, milk and other savouries affectionatelyand put him to sleep singing soft lullabies. Similarly in the evening the Vaishnavs, according to Shri Gusainji, should offer "Utthapan Bhog" similar to the fruits offered by the gopies in the forest. We should then offer him "Shayan Bhog" (dinner), perform the "Aarti" and put the lord to sleep. The seva from "Mangal Bhog" to "shayan" should be accompanied by the soft notes of the "Kirtan" (Music). Shri Gusainji has also listed out various "Saamagri's" prepared in the Nandaalay on important occasions and festivals. He put forth this guide lines to the Vaishnavs so as to enable them to worship the lord accordingly.
The different types of head gear which adorns the lord are "Paag" (Turban), "Phenta", "Dumaala", "Paga", "Kulhe", "Sahera", "Tipara" and "Mukut". This head gears can be adorn on the Baal Swaroop as well as Kishore Swaroop. But keeping only the Kishore Swaroop of the lord in mind Gusainji has created the head gears namely "Sehera", "Tipara" and "Mukut". They represent (1) Sehera- wedding- "Vivaha" (2) Tipara- wrestling- "Mallaswaroop" (3) Mukut- dance of love- "Raas".
Mahaprabhuji first worship the lord by adorning him with "Dhooti" and "Uparna". Shri Gusainji then created various other clothes like "Gherdar", "Chakdar", "Mallakaach" etc.. Other items needed for the worship on special occassions include the "Hindola" (Swing), "Phool Mandali" "Khas-khana".
All such guidelines for worshiping the lords enables the Vaishnavs to enrich their lives by performing seva.
GOSWAMI MURLIDHARLAALJI MAHARAJ
The various Swaroops of Shriji or the "Chitraji" (hand painted ) of Shriji or any swaroop of Shriji for which the Vaishnavs feels a strong love and affection can be worshiped at home after obtaining the permission of any Goswami Balak and accordingly offer the lord "Saamagries" and adorn the lord with clothes, ornaments, head gear etc. or if a Vaishnav has been initiated by a particular Goswami Balak then he should Stick to the methods and ways of performing the seva according to his Gurudevs house.
It is a must that, what ever the swaroop, the sevak should always think of the swaroop in terms of the Shriji. For eg. in the story the head of Shriji in Girirajji had bowed down by sheer weight of the intense love with which a sevak had offered a rose to his "Sevya" (Swaroop in his house). This how Shriji accepts all your worship or seva.