Radhastami Celebrations

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By Your servants at the Krishna Balaram temple, Vrindavana

radhe vrindavanesvari
vrishabhanu-sute devi
pranamami hari-priye

I offer my respects to Radharani, whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vrindavana. You are the daughter of King Vrishabhanu, and You are very dear to Lord Krishna.

23rd September, is the glorious celebration of a special event, although it occurs annually. Every year it fills the hearts of the devotees with effervescent joy – The build up to another year of pomp and festivity, and of course, the unparalleled flow of unalloyed compassion that just drowns everyone in an ocean of bliss! What is this? It is the glorious festival of Radhastami.

Occurring during the eight day of the waxing moon, this beautiful festival is gorgeously celebrated throughout Vrindavana as probably the holiest of all holy days. To the inhabitants of Vrindavana and especially the inhabitants of the Krishna Balarama temple, a very special energy flows through the hearts of one and all. What is this? It is an annual wait to get an opportunity to again glorify the dearest object of there sweet love and worship – a whole year of eagerly waiting with anxiety to once again get a perfect glimpse of Their Lordships Radha-Syamasundara. This day will give them a rare and wonderful darshana, that of the soft lotus feet of Srimati Radharani.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti quotes the following detailed description of Srimati Radharani’s footprints, as given by Srila Rupa Gosvami in his Sri Ujjvala-nilamani:

“At the base of the large toe of Her left foot is the mark of a barleycorn, below that mark is a disc, below the disc is an umbrella, and below the umbrella is a bracelet. A vertical line extends from the middle of Her foot to the juncture of Her large and second toes. At the base of the middle toe is a lotus, below that is a flag with a banner, and below the flag is a creeper, together with a flower. At the base of Her small toe is an elephant goad, and upon Her heel is a half-moon. Thus there are eleven marks on Her left foot.” “At the base of the large toe of Her right foot is a conch shell, and below that a spear. At the base of the small toe of Her right foot is a sacrificial altar, below that an earring, and below the earring a spear. Along the base of the second, third, fourth and small toes is the mark of a mountain, below which is a chariot, and on the heel is a fish.” “Thus all together there are nineteen distinguishing marks on the soles of Srimati Radharani’s lotus feet.” SB 10.30.28p

This auspicious day is also a rare chance for the devotees to make and offer something wonderful to Radharani in deep gratitude to Her for Her limitless compassionate glance that She casts upon them, moving there hearts to sincerely go on, through the turbulence that life throws at them, just like an affectionate mother.

It is the instruction of Prahlada Maharaja also that if one is seeking peace of mind he should free himself from all contamination of family life and take shelter of the Supreme Godhead by going to the forest. To the Gaudiya Vaisnavas, this forest is the forest of Vrinda or Vrindavana. If one takes shelter of Vrindavana under Vrindavanesvari (Srimati Radharani), certainly all the problems of his life are solved very easily”. SB 4.8.24p

To the devotees of the Krishna Balarama temple, She is not just another deity of Lord Krishna’s internal potency, but she is the original form of Her Majesty. In the Brahma-samhita (5.33), it is stated that the Lord is never to be found by becoming a great scholar of the Vedic literatures, but He is very easily approachable through His pure devotee.

In Vrindavana all the pure devotees pray for the mercy of Srimati Radharani, the pleasure potency of Lord Krishna . Srimati Radharani is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature. Therefore, the mercy of Radharani is available very readily to the sincere devotees, and once She recommends such a devotee to Lord Krishna, the Lord at once accepts the devotee’s admittance into His association. The conclusion is, therefore, that one should be more serious about seeking the mercy of the devotee than that of the Lord directly, and by doing so (by the good will of the devotee) the natural attraction for the service of the Lord will be revived. SB 2.3.23p

Installed here in Vrindavana under the guidance of Srila Prabhupada during the Ramnavami festival of 1975, together with Their Lordships Sri Sri Krishna Balaram and Their Lordships Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, she illuminates the altar with the dark and handsome Syamasundar and her 2 girlfriends Lalita (on the left) and Vishaka (on the right) There is not another deity like Her in the entire creation, and in Vrindavana it is unanimously accepted that She is the feature of the original Radharani … NO, She is the original Radharani herself! Being just 3.4 feet high, She radiates a dazzling beauty unparalleled anywhere on this planet. Flocks of thousands upon thousands of pilgrims come to take Her darshan daily, and on this day, they will endure any hardship to get a mere glimpse of Her. Continually bellowing from the depth of there hearts they chant Her holy name Radhe! Radhe!. while profuse amounts of tears roll down there cheeks as all the effort they had made to come here was finally worth it, …a mothers love soothes any pain.

The temple will be decorated with beautiful flowers, ornately adorning the altar and temple room as well as the inner and outer temple area, a marvel of natures beauty and opulence, quite befitting the mood of Vraja with its abudance of beautiful scented flowers and vines.

preshthalibhiha sevyamanau smarami

In a temple of jewels in Vrindavana, underneath a desire tree, Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, served by Their most confidential associates, sit upon an effulgent throne. I offer my humble obeisances unto Them. Adi 1.16.

Our humble request to all is that you set your heart as an altar to receive the soft lotus feet of Srimati Radharani, collect them with humble hands and serve Her to the best of your ability, with a heart full of love and sincerity. The scriptures tell us that her compassion knows no bounds and if you approach her in a helpless mood of genuine service, she will
certainly notice you and request to Krishna on your behalf to bestow the top most treasure, that of love of God.

Your servants at the Krishna Balaram temple, Vrindavana

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