This festivals is celebrated yearly during the Chaturmass (Monsoon Season) between Ashadh and Shravan (July – August). A “Hindolo” is a swing. A Chal (Mobile) murti of HariKrishna Maharaj, known fondly as “Lalji” (A childhood form of Bhagwan Swaminarayan), is placed in the Hindolo.
The arrival of these festivities usher a new wave of devotion within the hearts of the Devotees. For the whole month, the murti of the Lord is placed in a decorated swing and pulled to and fro with a string by devotees.
When Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan had completed 32 days after His manifestation upon the earth, His parents Dharmadev and Bhaktimata celebrated the festival of Dolarohan (i.e. placing the child for the first time in a cradle and rocking the cradle). It was the eleventh day of the bright half of the month Vaishakh. The cradle was tastefully and luxuriously decorated. The cradle was rocked fondly by all the members of the family.
This tradition of rocking the cradle later on was transferred to the tradition of rocking the swing (Hindola) for God Himself. The Hindola is hung on a beam of wood and the rope or the chain is profusely woven with multi-coloured and fragrant flowers. At times the Hindola is box-type with many doors. This Hindola is also tastefully painted and coloured.
Nishkulanand Swami skilfully constructed a twelve door Hindola of wood and painted it with artistic designs. It was brought to Gnan Baug at Vadtal and was supported by a strong wooden beam amidst two mango trees and hung by ropes. This hindola is preserved as prasadi at the Vadtal Temple. The ropes and the Hindola were tastefully decorated with flowers. A silken thread was tied to the Hindola and Shree Muktanand Swami was first to gently rock the Hindola while singing an appropriate Kirtan composed by him. Thousands of devotees had gathered and all desired to sight the Lord and offer their garlands. The Lord mercifully assumed many forms and appreared at all twelve doors of the hindola. It was proving difficult for all devotees to garland the Lord personally so He also mercifully stretched His stick on which He accepted the garlands.
This festival is symbolic like many other festivals within the Sanatan Dharma.
1. The Hindola – represents Maya (Illusionary power of the Lord) or our worldly materialistic life
2. Wooden beam represents the Ishwar (The Supreme Personality of Godhead)
3. The four ropes which the hindola is hung by represent – four-fold activities of human life
Dharma (Righteous Duties), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desires) and Moksh (Salvation)
4. The metalic rings represent from which the ropes are hung from represent – Purusha and Prakruti
The primal motive force essential constituent of the Universe
5. Base of the Hindola represents – Earth.
6. The twelve doors represent – twelve months (Kartik – Aaso)
7. The fragrant and colourful flowers represent – the virtues and good conducts in life.
8. The silk thread represents – Prana (Life).
9. The to and fro movement of the Hindola represents – the ups and downs in life
Slow and swift movements are enjoyable but sudden and harsh movements lead to catastrophe.
When Lord Swaminaryan is swung to and fro lovingly by the devotee in the Hindola of life, he experiences true transcendental bliss.