Gop Mas – Vrat Charya Arambh ki badhai !
It starts from 13th Nov till 12th Dec.2019.
Margshirsh maas is also known as the ‘Gop Mas’ or ‘Gopya Mas’, where the leela in this month is ” Gupt / gopya” i.e. secret.
In this month of Hemant Rutu (winter), the Vraj Kumarikas / little girls of Vraj performed penance unto Katyayani devi. The Vrat Ritual consisted of them waking up before dawn to take a dip in the holy waters of Shri Yamunaji. They sang the praises of Shri Hari as they went towards the sacred river. On the banks of this holy river, they made idol of the Devi with the sacred sand / valuka of Shri Yamunaji. Vraj Gopikas worshiped the sand idol with flowers and various offerings in order to attain Shri Krushna as their consort.
Toward the finale of the Vrat, Shri Krushna performed the famous Cheerharan or “Vastraharan” Leela. In which the garments of Gopies were snatched by Shri Krushna while they were bathing in Shri Yamuna ji .The Lord returned these once the girls had unreservedly declared their love for Shri Hari, openly and publicly. The Vastra is understood as vasna .
So in this month, the kirtans of Vratcharya (time when gopies performed special penances) are especially sung before Shri Prabhuji and we also celebrate the ‘Chappan bhog’, a veritable feast with innumerable delicacies being offered to the Lord.
Special chanting of GOIPKA GEET is performed by devotees.
The Lord Himself said in the 11th Skandh of Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran i.e.
“Masanam Margashirshoham NakShattranaam Tathabhijitam” (11-16-27)
And in the Vibhuti Yog of Shrimad Bhagwad Gita, Shri Krushna also states that, “Masanam Marghashirshoham Rutunam Kusumakar”.
Hence, the celebrations during Gop mas are also based on Shrimad Bhagwat. In the Tenth Skandh of Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran in 22nd Shloka, the leela is described as,
“Hemante Prathame Maase Nand Vraj Kumarika ||
Cherurhvishyam Bhujjanam Katyayaniarchayanvratam||”