Bahulashtami 2023: Know history, significance and more
Bahulashtami, also known as Ahoi Ashtami falls on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) in the Hindu month of Kartik, which typically falls in October or November. This year, Bahulashtami falls on November 5.
Bahulashtami is a lovely pastime or Lila of Lord Krishna that tells the story of a cow Bahula seeking refuge from the Supreme Lord. On the banks of Shyam Kund in Vrindavan, reside the deities of a cow and her calf, a brahmana, a tiger and Krishna himself. . These depictions serve to remind pilgrims of the lovely pastime of Bahula. "Bahulashtami" is derived from "bahula" meaning "cow," and "ashtami" signifying the eighth day.
The beautiful 'Radha Kund' (the pond created by Srimati Radharani) also appeared on this day. The auspicious Bahulashtami falls on November 5 this year, which is the eighth day of the waning phase of the moon in the month of Kartik.
A tiger once attacked the cow Bahula as she was contentedly grazing. Before it made a meal of her, Bahula asked the tiger to let her go back to her calf, feed it, and say goodbye. The tiger accepted her offer and waited its time until she came back. The cow informed her calf and her brahmana master about what happened in the meantime.
Upon hearing her sorry tale, they offered to go in her place so that the tiger would have something to eat. After Bahula rejected down their selfless offer, the three—the cow, the calf, and the brahmana—returned to the tiger to give themselves to him. The tiger was overjoyed at this extremely fortunate development.
Lord Krishna, the supreme Deity of Dharma and the protector of all of Vraja's residents appeared when the tiger was debating which victim to devour first. Krishna promised the tiger, holding His chakra in one hand, that he would become famous for eternity if he showed mercy to the cow and its relatives for their honest and moral behaviour. Bahula was freed from her vow by the tiger, and the calf and brahmana celebrated their mother's survival and felt fortunate that Krishna had intervened kindly.
Bahula's integrity and truthfulness won Krishna so much that He bestowed upon her the name Bahulavan, the forest, and granted her the ability to become His consort. As a result, Bahula became one of Krishna's wives in her subsequent incarnation. Additionally, this day became known as Bahulastami in her honour.
Appearance day of Radha Kund:
Krishna encouraged Radharani to initiate a love affair after slaying the bull-demon Aristasura. She rebuked Him, nevertheless, saying He was impure for killing a bull, which is a religious emblem. She recommended that He take a bath in each of the holy rivers to atone for this sin.
Krishna quickly made a big hole in the earth with His lotus foot and invited all the holy rivers to enter it since He was so eager to have an ethereal love affair with Srimati Radharani. They materialized in front of Him, forming Syama-kunda, or Syama's swimming place—one whose hue is similar to a cloud of dark rain.
After taking a bath in Syama-kunda, Krishna declared that although the Gopis had sided with a demon, despite the demon's appearance as a bull, they had become impure. Radharani and a few of her gopi companions broke their bangles and used the broken pieces to dig a hole. However, there was no water, which made Krishna chuckle. After that, the gopis created a line that extended to the Manasi Ganga, and they began to fill the hole with water by passing it from one gopi to the next. Around that time, all the sacred rivers came again in person and asked to enter Radharani's kunda. With Radharani's blessing, they succeeded in doing so.
And that's how Radha Kund was formed.
On Kartik Krishna Paksha Ashtami, it is widely believed that a holy dip in the Radha Kund may facilitate childbearing for childless couples. Couples having trouble getting conceived come here to seek Radharani's blessings. Couples stand in the pond and perform puja. They provide the well-known Petha or white raw pumpkin. After being adorned with red cloth, it is presented. Locals refer to the offering as "Kushmanda."
After praying here, couples who were fortunate enough to become parents also give offerings and take the holy dip as a sign of gratitude for their good fortune.