Shringar-Tilak Darshan during Janmashtami time.
This darshan took place at about 11.00am, Sriji was dressed in a Basanti yellow cakdar, a wonderful formal court dress with four corners. Today, they offered dohara dona sringar, a special occasion when two goswami balaks offer shrigars of their own to the Lord. The thadoo vastra (covering the steele behind the Lord) was navy blue and the picvai was red/ saffron. Rakesh bawa formally offer a tilak on Shriji’s forehead.
At the same time Lalan was dressed up in bhari (heavy / austentacious) sringar, covering his gadi in completeness, surmounted with two flower malajis (garland) and flower chogas. The pichvai behind Him was predominently orange with Nandbawa, Jasoda maa, plana and gop gopies celebrating the Nandmahoutsav.
Due to shortage of time, and huge crowds, gwal darshan was performed behind the closed doors (bhitar). Rajbhog darshan opened at 3.00pm – very late for the Lord indeed, especially as He had woken up so early in the morning ! Sri Nathji was replesdent in all His regal splendor. Golden toys are placed before the Lord. There are very few occasions on which Shri Nathji is offered “toys”, this being one of them. So, apart from Janmastmi, naum, birthdays of Shri Rama and Shri Vaman are the rare moments when gold toys are placed before Shri Nathji. There was a small gold palano, cows and elephants, all entirely made of gold. The thought that Nikunj Naik will today play with toys, is itself is enough to start making one feel the joy of Nandmoutsav.
Mean while Lalan was also very happily enjoying his all new gold khilonas (toys), 3 days prior to astmi gold khilonas are set out on the khand path (large low level table). After the Rajbhog darshna the next darshna is sandhya, which opened at about 6.30pm, and then the remaining darshan did not open, every thing happened behind close doors – bhitar. The special jagran darshan opened at 10.15 pm and lasted till 11.45pm. There was a dwarpal (guard) standing at Sriji with a mashal and the darshan was continuously open till 11.45pm. The same thing took place at Navnit Priyaji but there was no mashal there.
The darsan at ShriNathji closed at 11.45pm and there was pin drop silence till midnight. All in anticipation of the birth of the Lord. At midnight, shankh (conch) and jhalar (gong) were heard from the inner temple. There was a 21 gun salute given to the lord and arti and panchamrit snana was performed. This time, it was Shaligramji who was bathed. But this darshan was not open for the public at Sriji or Lalan, every thing is done bhitar (behind the closed doors). After the snana, mahabhog was offered to the lord and was laid out in the doltibari and the darshan hall. The bhog was kept there till the next day morning 6.00am – when vaishnavs could enjoy the darshan of the bhog.