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PICHHVAI

Pichhvais – A Pushtimargiya Heritage

The word Pichhvai is refferred to paintings on cloth material which is displayed on the wall behind Shree Thakorjis sinhansan. The pichhvais depict divine scenes of various lilas of Shreeji. They play an important role in bringing out the significance of the particular Utsav when they are adorned on the walls behind Shreejis sinhansan.

The lila painted on the cloth describes to us what Utsav it is, what activites took place during the Lila. The trees, the mountains, the pashu-pakshi, Shree Yamunaji, the vrajbhakta painted in the pichhvais surround Shree Thakorji. All these figures are swaroopaatmak, not just depictions.

Generally, Pichhvais fall into three broad categories: those made for festival days, like the one below; those made for specific seasons, monsoon, summer and winter; and those that express general themes and are not necessarily bound by convention. Often the center of the Pichhvai is left blank, as this area is obscured by the Lord, Shree Nathji.

However these days pichhvais have made their transition from the religious to the secular, making colorful decorative hangings in urban homes as well.

Pichhvais

Hindola Pichhvai
  • Hindola (a swing) is a festival celebrated in Pushtimarg with a lot of enthusiasm and excitement (During the monsoon months of Asadh and Shravan [July , August] in which the yugal swaroop is respectfully positioned in the beautifully decorated hindola.
  • The pichhvai given here depicts how the yugal swaroop swinging in the hindola. The yugal swaroop is encircled by the gopijans, who praise the couple by singing kirtans. Having the darshan of the yugal swaroop in the hindola the peacocks become overjoyed, join the hindola festival and start dancing.
  • This pichhvai is hung behind Shreeji’s sinhansan during Hindola manoraths.

Hindola_Pichhvai

Hindola Kirtan by Shree Surdasji (Raag Malhaar)

Aaj ban umangi rahi vrajnari /
Fulifirat nishank  gun gavat zhulavat  pran  pyari //1//
Eek kusum le harat upar eek chitvat rahi thadi  /
Eek jo dhay aay mohan pe aank bharat he gadhi   //2//
Nilpit angang birajat aur Shringar sanvari  /
Sur sang vilsat he bhamini  nek n hot niyari   //3//

 

Khaskhan Ki Pichhvai
  • The given pichhvai illustrates how the yugal swaroop ( Divine Couple) is comforted during the summer ( Ushnakal) in the bungalow. All efforts are made to provide the comfort of winter (grishmopchar) in summer. Shree swaminiji offers the soothing food items i.e. (shitkal bhog) to Shree Thakorji. The Gopijans on the side of Shree Thakorji are fanning Him to create a cold breeze.
  • The lower section of the given pichhvai illustrates the offering of malaji by Shree Yamunaji to Shree Thakorji. Shree Yamunaji is seen with the Shringar of malkach patuka and tiparo.

Khaskhan Ki Pichhvai

Khaskhana Kirtan by Shree Nanddasji ( Raag Sarang)

Yamuna tat navnikunj drum navdal pahopapunj taha rachi nagarvar ravti usirki/
Kumkum ghansar ghor pankaj dal bor bor charchat chahu aur aavni pankaj paatirki //1//
Shobhit tan gaur shyam sukhad sahaj kunjdham parsat shital sugand mand gati samiriki /
Nandas piyapyari nirakh sakhi lalita ot shravanan dhuni sun kinkani manjirki //2//

Pichhvai of Annakut

This given pichhvai is about the offering of Annakut to Shree Thakorji at Shree Mahaprabhuji’s residence, where all the nine nidhi swaroops (navnidhi swaroops) have come together to get pleasure from the Annakut bhog. Annakut is usually offered on the first bright moon day of Kartik month i.e. nextday after the day after Deepavali. The aarti is being offered by bade mukhiyaji and while morchal is being offered by chhote mukhiyaji.

Pichhvai of Annakut

Kirtan of Annakut  by Shree Parmananddasji  (Raag Sarang)

Hamaro dev govardhan rano /
Jaki chhatra chhanh ham baithe tako tyaj aure kyo mano //1//
Nikotrun sunder jal niko niko godhan rahat aghaano /
Niko sab vrajhot sukharo surpati kop kaha pahechano   //2//
Khir khand ghrut bhojan mewa oodan sakal aanupm aano /
Parmanand govardhan utsav annakut aloukik jano     //3//

 

The given pichhvai illustrates daan-lila at Sankrikhor near Barsana. The word daan is a gujarati/hindi/vraj language word, which means collecting of the tax or the octroi by the ruler from the sellers (It does not mean any donation). In this pichhvai, we get the darshan of Shree Thakorji forcefully collecting the daan from the the gopijans. Shree Thakorji collects the yogurt (dahi-curd) and butter (makhan-navneet).

This pichhvai is displayed during days of daan in the month of Bhadarwa.

Daan Lila  Pichhvai

Kirtan of Daanlila  (Raag Devgandhar)

Pyaro kahat sakhanko tere  /
jaan n pave ye vrajsundari lavo sabhin mere //1//
nit  hi yah mag jat dan Liye sab nipat savere /
Muski muski mrudu hasat paraspar chanchal drug bhar here //2//
Ati  sundar  kar  kamal  parsi piya  drashti  n  it  ut fere  /
Shree Vitthalgiridharan  chalat  jab  atki  rahat   man   mere     //3//

 

Holi / Hori ki  Pichhvai

The given pichhvai depicts the horikhel utsav. Shree Thakorji plays holi with Shree Swaminiji and the gopijans. The gopijans, having this darshan from the balcony, become overjoyed and start playing colours with Shree Thakorji. Other gopijans are filling water guns (pichkari-???????)-cannons from the kund (reservoir) to play with Shree Thakorji.

Holi Hori ki  Pichhvai

Kirtan of Hori khel by Shree Dwarkeshji  (Raag Vasant)
Yah dekhi panchmi rutu vasant  /
Jaha drum aur veli sab falant   //1//
Taha pathai lalita kari vichar  /
Nav kunj me karihe vihar   //2//
Le aai sab singar saj  /
Hari dori mile mano madan raj  //3//
Nav kesri chova ang rag  /
Khelat gopal badhayo anurag  //4//
Kul kokil kalrav sukh samaj  /
Ali gunjan punjan kunj gaaj //5//
Rati kumbh lai thadi nihari  /
Madhi rajat saras sab ver vaari  //6//
Sakhi taal mrudang bajaay gaay /
Taha Dwarkesh balihari jaay //7//

Nandotsav ki Pichhvai

The given pichhvai depicts the celebration of Shree Thakorji’s birth (pragatyotsav) in the place of nandalay (the palace of Nandrayji) It is called Nandotsav. There is an immense bliss due to the appearance of Shree Thakorji. Nanadbava and Yashodaji are blissfully swinging the cradle (palna) while the gopas and gopis are merrily dancing, singing and expressing the cheerfulness.

This pichhvai is usually displayed at occasion of celebrating nandmahotsav.

Nandotsav ki Pichhvai

Kirtan of Nandotsav by Shree Surdasji  (Raag Ramkali)
Jasumati palna sut hi jhulave  /
Nirkhi mukharvindki shobha man me ati sachupave  //1//
Vividh  bhatike  lai  lai  khilona   baithi   aap  khilawe  /
Dekhi dekhi musikat manohar dvai dutiya darsave   //2//
Le  palnate hulsi hulsike astan pan karave  /
Yah sukh tin lokme nahi sur kaha kahi gave  //3//
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Naukavihar (Nav Ke Manorath Ki ) Pichhvai

The given pichhvai depicts nauka vihar lila. The yugal swaroop,  Shree Thakorji and Shree Swaminiji, is reverentially beseated in the naav (the boat). The gopijans sitting in the naav are trying to please Shree Thakorji by singing kirtans while some are rowing the naav.

This pathway is used during the summer (Ushnakal).
Naukavihar

Kirtan of Nav Manorath by Shree Nandasji  (Raag Sarang)
Chandan pehre naav hari bethe sang vrushbhan dulari ho  /
Yamuna pulin ful shobhit taha khelat laal balihari ho  //1//
trividh pavan bahut sukhdayak sital mand sugandha ho /
kamal prakash kusum bahu fule jaha rajat nandnand ho  //2//
akshay  trutiya  akshay lila  sang  radhika pyari ho  /
Karat vihar sabe sakhiso nanddas balihari ho  //3//

 

Pichhvai of Gopashtsmi

The given pichhvai depicts the utsav of gopashtami (that is bright moon side of the Kartik month). On the day of gopashtami, Shree Yashodaji sent Shree Krishna for the first time for cowherding (gocharan). She adorned her lalaan with the Shringar of mukut kachhni, and gokarna and gave him a blanket and stick.

The given pichhvai, depicts darshan of Shree Thakorji, being surrounded by several cows and several gopijans. This pichhvai is displayed on the day of gopashtami.

Pichhvai of Gopashtsmi

Kirtan of Gopashtami by Shree Parmananddasji  (Raag Sarang)

Pratham gocharan  chale kanhai  /
Maathe mukut pitambar ki chhabi van maala peharai  //1//
Kundal  shravan   kapol   birajat   sundarta   bani   aai /
Ghar  gharte  sab  chhak  let  hai sang sakha sukhdai   //2//
Aage   dhenu  hank   sab  lini  paachhe  murli     bajaai /
Parmanand prabhu manmohan  brajvasin surat karai  //3//