In some havlies, we hear about "Gaud-ke-Thakorji".  These are usually small and sit on a gadiji near the main icon in the haveli and represent the main svaroop during festivals. 
Literal meaning of the word is - "Thakorji who sits in the lap" - because they are literally that small that they can be placed in your lap.  In this case, they are small enough to sit in the lap of the main Thakorji. 

If the svaroop in the inner sanctum is too big to be moved on a regular basis - eg Shri Nathji, it is imperative to have a Gaud-ke-Thakorji to represent Shri Nathji outside the main sanctum.  How else can the  Lord be represented at festivals such as Hindola, Govardhan Puja and various manoraths !  Large svaroops are too heavy to transport and may incur damage if moved about too often.  Hence, times when the Thakorji has to attend any festivities outside the inner sanctum, the smaller representative of the Lord travels there in style.

Various manoraths - such as Palana, Nav, Kunj, Dol, Hindola, Rath-Yatra etc need the Thakorji to leave the inner sanctum and get closer to his beloved vaishnavs.  Gaud-ke-Thakorji takes part in all these as the main Svaroop.  In case of ShriNathji, He has two representatives - Navneet Priyaji and Madan Mohanji.  As Navneet Priyaji has become a nidhi svaroop in His own right, He only officiates for ShriNathji on major festivals - such as Janmastami, Divali, Deep-dana during Hatadi or Dol.  At other times, Madan Mohanji represents ShriNathji outside the inner sanctum - eg during Hindola season.

In some havelies, the main svaroop is very small and can be easily transported for manoraths.  In that case, there may or may not be a Gaud-ke-Thakorji.  In such cases the main icon goes to most festivals and the Gaud-ke-Thakorji makes only rare visits outside the inner sanctum.  For example, Navneet-Priyaji, Bala-Krushnaji and Vitthalnathji are very small icons and make all festival visits in person.  For example, Lalan personally come down to swing in the Palana every day, in person.


In main-stream Hinduism, "Gaud-ke-Thakorji" are called "Uttsav Svaroop" - literally meaning "Festival icons".  They come out for all major festivals.  Some Uttsav Murtis, eg those of Tirupati Balaji, are constantly busy with manoraths that require them to be out of the inner sanctum most of the time.

Bhagwat Shah ©


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