Krishnadham

Ashtasakha


The three pillars of Pushtimarg are

  • Kirtans (bhakti Sangeet) considered a part of rich historical traditions in Pushtimarg
  • Bhog (Pure vegetarian food offerings excluding onion, garlic, cabbage and root vegetables), and,
  • Vastra & Shringar (Dressing up Thakorji with beautiful clothes, headwear and jewelry adornments).

Thakorji's seva is performed in darshans according to the various seasons and days. Thakorji darshans are Mangla, Shringar, Gwal, Rajbhog, Utthapan, Bhog, Sandhya Aarti and Shayan. During each of these eight darshans, Shri Thakorji's eight poets (Ashtasakha) sing various Kirtans with different bhavs.

Ashta sakhas or eight poets are listed below:

1. Kumbhandasji - lived till the ripe old age of 115 years and wrote in excess of 4000 padas in honor of his beloved Shri Govardhan dharan – Shrinathji. He had a great affiliation to the Nikunj lila – sakhi bhava.

2. Surdasji - lived for remarkable 105 years and wrote in excess of 125,000 padas. 25,000 of these have Surshyam as his signature, which is believed to be Shri Krushna’s / Shri Radha's own creations for him to help him achieve his goal of 125,000 padas. He was prolific writer. His favorite deity was Shri Mathureshji. Surdasji had a great affiliation to Bala-lila (childhood pranks of Krushna), Mana-lila (Krushna appeasing his beloved) and Gaucharan-lila (when Krushna was herding the cows in Vraj).

3. Parmananddasji - is reputed to have lived till he was 91 years old and wrote in excess of 2000 padas, found mainly in his compilation called Parmananda Sagar. He was very fond of Shri Navneetpriyaji and had great affiliation towards the childhood pranks of the Shri Krushna.

4. Krishnadasji - lived for 84 years and wrote about 700 padas. Most of these are found in his work, titled KrishnaSagar. He loved the form of Madanmohanji and loved the Rasa-lila of the Shri Krushna.

5. Govindswami - Having lived till he was 80 years old, he wrote over 400 padas. He was especially fond of Shri Dwarikadhishji and loved Hindola (monsoon festival, when the Thakorji swings on hindolas) and the Aankhamicholi-lila (hide and seek)

6. Chhitaswami - Lived for about 70 years and wrote 200 plus padas. He was fond of Shri Vitthalnathji’s swaroop and loved the Janma-lila – festival celebrating the “birth” of Shri Krushna.

7. Chaturbhujdasji - He lived a mere 45 years and wrote over 200 padas. He loved Shri GokulNathji’s swaroop and loved the Annakut (feast offered at New Year’s festival) and Govardhanlila (when Thakorji lifted mount Govardhan) of Thakorji.

8. Nanddasji - He lived till he was 52 years old and wrote over 400 main padas and wrote Pancha Manjari. He was especially fond of Shri Gokulchandramaji and loved the Kishor lila (youthful activities), RasaPanchadhyayi (the Rasa lila, as described in the fifth chapter of Shrimad Bhagvatam), Bhramargeet (when Shri Radha teaches devotion to Shri Uddhavji through the medium of bee).