Goswami Haveli & Shree Gopinathji JyotishPeeth
Goswami Haveli (shri Natwarlalji Srishyamlalji Temple), located in the heart of Kalupur area of Ahmedabad, is a divine place with a rich history and special traditions. The Haveli was established around 450 years ago, this holy place is of special significance to the followers of Pushtimarga, a devotional tradition that venerates Lord Krishna as the supreme deity.
The main attraction of Goswami Haveli is the enshrined Nidhi Swarup Shri Natvaraprabhu (Lord Krishna), a dancing posture of Sri Krishna holding a Mat in his left hand and Navneet in his right hand. This form of Lord Krishna is considered as one of the main Nidhiswarupa in Pushtimarga.
One of the unique features of this form of Lord Krishna is that the service of this swarup has been exclusively carried out by the descendants of Shri Acharyaji, the founder of Pushtimarga. The form was received by Shri Acharyaji Mahaprabhuji from Shri Yamunaji while bathing and has been passed down through the generations.
The Haveli has a fascinating history with Acharya parampara with its roots tracing back to Acharyashri Mahaprabhuji who received the form of Shri Natvaraprabhu (Lord Krishna) from Shri Yamunaji while bathing. Shri Acharyaji Mahaprabhuji gave this form to his second self, Shrivithalnathji - Gusaiji, who served Shri Natvaraprabhu all his life along with Shri Navanitpriyaji. The lineage of service continued through generations, with various descendants serving the form of Shri Natvaraprabhu with utmost devotion and reverence.
The Haveli has gone through several shifts and changes over the years. Goswami Shri Vallabhji Maharaj brought Shri Natwarji first from Gokul to Bundi and then to Kota. The Maharaja of Jodhpur welcomed Aapashree with atmost respect and provided all service assistance. However, for political reasons, Goswami Shri Raghunathji Maharaj drove Shri Natvaraprabhu from Jodhpur, leading to a journey towards Gujarat.
The journey towards Gujarat was eventful, with Shri Natvarprabhu's procession being given a grand welcome by a Muslim chaplain of the Suba of Ahmedabad. The Suba of Ahmedabad urged Goswami Shri Radhunathji Maharaj to bring Shri Natvarprabhu to Ahmedabad, assuring all political support. On Vesakh Shukla Pata Day in Samvat 1851, the Haveli was restored, and Shri Natvarprabhu was established at Goswami Haveli in Ahmedabad. Since then, Goswami Haveli has been a sacred site for devotees of Lord Krishna, who come to offer their services and seek blessings from the divine.
Being one of the primary Havelies of Pushtimarga, Prabhu seva or say Shree Thakorji's seva is of utmost priority and importance. Almost every activity in the premise is directed and organized towards Prabhu Seva. As mentioned and prescribed by the founder Guru of Pushtimarga. Shree Natwarlal Prabhu is the prime idol amongst many other idols (Swaroop's) present and being worshipped in the haveli.
All these being 'Nidhi' Swaroop's of Jagad Guru Mahaprabhu Shri Vallabacharya, they have been worshiped and served for more than 550 years now. Shree Gopimathji's Deepakji ( A pious flame burning since years ) also draws a lot of attention from seekers.
The temple premises runs under the pious guidance and leadership of Shri Vallabacharya's descent Goswami Shri Ranchodlalji and his inclinations towards 'Raag' 'Bhoog' & 'Shringar' has really added fragrance in the everlasting arey of traditions.
Apart from areas dedicated purely for Prabhu seva, there are secondary and tertiary sectors within the premise that adds and adorns the beauty and function of the haveli. A 'Yagna shala', 'Gau shala', 'Ashva Shala', Giriraj bagh - a modest garden of varied flora and fauna. Samadhan Pedhi, Phool Ghar, Jal Ghar, Shak Ghar etc are to name a few.
Goswami Haveli is not just a religious site, but a cultural and architectural marvel that showcases the rich heritage of Gujarat. The Haveli is an exquisite example of traditional Gujarati architecture, with intricate carvings and decorations adorning the walls, ceilings, and pillars. It is a place of great historical and spiritual significance, and its continued preservation is essential to keep alive the legacy of Pushtimarga and the devotion to Lord Krishna.
Today, Goswami Haveli stands as a testament to the rich history and traditions of the Pushtimarga Tradition. The Haveli attracts devotees from all over the world, who come to offer their services and seek the blessings of Shri Natvaraprabhu (Lord Krishna). It is a place of peace, devotion, and reverence, where the legacy of service continues, and the divine form of Shri Natvaraprabhu (Lord Krishna) is worshipped with the utmost devotion.
According to principles of Shree Vallabhacharyaji, the construction of this haveli is nicely done. The temple is called haveli because it does not have any shikhar-dhwaja(dome-flags) as Lord Krishna had his leela as in Nandraiji &Yashodaji home called Nandalay in Vraj.
The haveli campus is vastly situated in area above 500000 sq.feet. As we step in to the haveli, we are in the jagmohan, where the devotees stayback for the darshan of Shree Thakurji.Inside jagmohan hall, we stepin to the main tibaari following by the centre chowk from where the vaishnavas-devotees have there darshan. On the both side of a chowk, there are tibaar is where the manorath as are done, these tibaaris are known as doltibaari & palnatibaari.
Infront side of the main chowk there is Nijtibaari.Inside Nijtibaari Nijmandir is situated where the seva of Shree Thakujiis performed. Devotees are not allowed to go inside Nijtibaari.On the both side of Nijmandir, Bhogmandir and Sheeshmahal is situated. More over there are Phoolghar, Shaakghar, Krushnabhandar, Rasoighar, Baalbhogghar in theHaveli complex. There is a small Gaushaala(Cowshed)in backside of Haveli.The main Gaushaala is located at Asarva Bethak where more than 150 cows are looked after.
Gosaiji Shree Vitthalnathji is known for introducing the beautiful art of devotional music to honor the divine leelas of Lord Shree Krishna. He appointed eight sevaks of different cultures and traditions to perform devotional music to appraise Shreenathji. This unique combination of Indian art and music gave birth to Haveli Sangeet, which is based on the Drupad Dhamar tradition of Indian classical music.
The instruments used in Haveli Sangeet are carefully selected based on seasonal manoraths and timings. They include pakhawaj, sarangi, dilruba, tanpura, vina, flute, jhanz, and tal. These instruments are played in a way that creates a mesmerizing ambiance, and the music becomes a medium to connect with the divine.
For over 500 years, Haveli Sangeet has been an essential part of the Pushtimarg tradition, and it continues to enthrall people with its enchanting melodies and divine essence. The beauty of this art lies in its ability to transport the listener to a world of spirituality and devotion, where they can experience the divine love of Lord Shree Krishna.
Gosaiji Shree Vitthalnathji also introduced the artistic tradition of Pichhvai to the Sewa Prakar of Pushtimarg. This tradition reflects the artistic behavior and essence of the Pushtimarg cult. Pichhvai art is inspired by the ancient Kishangarh art and mainly depicts the leelas of Lord Krishna and other shringararas related to him.
The Pichhvai paintings are usually of 8'x10' size and are considered to be a precious art form that has been kept alive by the grace of Pushtimarg. Even today, the artists who specialize in this field are highly respected and praised by the Acharyas.
The beauty of Pichhvai art lies in its intricate details, vibrant colors, and the way it captures the essence of Lord Krishna's leelas. It is a way of connecting with the divine through visual art and has been an integral part of the Pushtimarg tradition for centuries. The inheritance of this art form has been passed down from generation to generation, and it continues to be a cherished aspect of the Pushtimarg culture.