Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury celebrated the annual Hindola Festival between 18th July and 15th August 2019 – Rakshabandhan. The month-long celebration sees the supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa preside from beautiful and ornate swings, hand made by the disciples from the Mandir.
Literally translated, a hindolo is a swing – in particular, the traditional cradles (or parayanoo) where young children would have been rocked to sleep. Parents would have rocked their babies' swings and sung sweet lullabies to them. The values and strengths instilled in a child in these early days, from the stories and songs heard whilst rocking in the cradle, are amongst the most important influences in a person’s life.
Our forefathers used to tie slings from tree branches and swing their loved ones on them. In the auspicious month of Shravan, when the gardens would have been in full bloom and the weather being most temperate, Radha and other friends used to take the baby Shree Krishna to the parks of Gokul and Vrundavan, and cradle him on swings decorated with flowers as a form of showing love and devotion. The remembrance of this episode of Shree Krishna's life is the origin of the Hindola season that is celebrated each year.
The Festival gives disciples the unique opportunity to become engrossed in the Lord's Murti in this way, and assimilate the values of the Lord into oneself. By visting the Mandir during this auspicious period and gently swinging the Lord, it is easy to quickly become immersed into Him and thus, Hindolas are a means of meditation unto the Lord.