(Last Updated on : 16/12/2008)
Rasayatra is an annual festival of Lord Krishna. It is celebrated in various parts of India in the month of Karthik (October-November) upon the sun`s entrance into Libra.
Rasayatra celebrates the Krishna`s nocturnal dances with the Gopis. The dance in the circular form signifies the dance of the planets round the sun.
During the Krishna Saradiya Rasayatra the deities of Vrindavan are exquisitely decorated in white. As the moon is auspicious on this day Krishna Lila dramas are enacted. The devotees leave pots of sweet rice exposed to the full moon for the whole night, to turn the sweet rice into amrita.
During the time of Rasayatra devotional services are performed. One of the most important of these ceremonial functions is called Urja-vrata. Urja-vrata is observed in the month of Karthik especially in Vrindavan. In Vrindavan there is a specific program for temple worship of the Lord in His Damodara form.
`Damodara` refers to Krishna`s being bound with rope by His mother, Yashoda. It is said that just as Lord Damodara is very dear to His devotees, so the month known as Damodara or Karttika is also very dear to them. The devotional service is also performed at Mathura. This system is still followed by many devotees. The followers go to Mathura or Vrindavan and stay there during the month of Karttika specifically to perform devotional services during this period.
In the Padma Purana it said that The Lord, Krishna may offer liberation or material happiness to a devotee. After some devotional service has been executed, particularly in Mathura during the month of Karttika, the devotees want to attain pure devotional service unto the Lord.
It is believed that the Lord does not award devotional service to ordinary persons who are not serious about it. But even such unholy persons, who execute the sacred service according to the regulative principles during the month of Karttika, and within the jurisdiction of Mathura in India, are blessed by the Lord Krishna.