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Dahi Handi. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Kolkata, August 25, 2016: Commemorating the birth of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu- Indians, particularly from Maharashtra and parts of Goa, celebrates Dahi Handi (Dahi means ‘curd’, Handi means ‘earthen pot’) with a lot of gusto and enthusiasm every year, that falls on the next day or on the same day of Krishna Janmashtami or Gokulashtami, in the month of August/ September.

We all are acquainted with the bhajans like “Maiya mori, mein nehi makhan khao”, “Yashoda ka mohan, makhan chor”, “Makhan ki chori, nandalal kare” and the tales of the little Lord Krishna, that how much he had love for dahi (curd) and makhan (butter), and the notorious means of getting them.


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Lord Krishna. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The famous Dahi Handi celebration is also known as Gopalakala, in Maharashtra, and is based on this tale of Lord Krishna. This is a one-day event, on which the young troop of boys, make a human pyramid, to fetch the Handi which is filled with milk, curd, butter, fruits and water.

To make this more challenging, these Handis are kept several feet high, and the women folks, who assume the role of female cowherds from the story of Lord Krishna, prevent the boy troop from fetching the Handi, by throwing water on the pyramid formation, while the other spectators sing in Marathi, “Ala re ala, Govida ala”, which means, Govinda or the participants have arrived.

Though the real story behind celebrating Dahi Handi, is the mischievous acts of Lord Krishna, there is also a philosophical significance attached to it.

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We, the people, are being held back by dangles of Samsara, unable to open ourselves. The pot is believed to be the ‘human ego’ and the content of it is the ‘being’. Lord Krishna breaks the pot and releases the content from the binding of the Samsara. In this way, he reveals the real bliss of life introducing the true self.

So let’s get ready to enjoy and flourish ourselves with the blessings of Lord Krishna, on this year’s Dahi Handi, keeping in mind its significance, and by discovering our true self!

– by Riashe Chakraborty of NewsGram. Twitter:@itzriashe

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