The most amazing Radhastami of my life
By Manjari Gauthie
…The crowd presses forward, a mass of bodies all straining to get a better view of the altar. The curtains are still closed, but thin wisps of frankincense smoke can be seen curling from behind their edges. The sweet smell permeats the room and fuels my eagerness to finally see Their Lordships in our temple for the first time. Balabhadra is leading an intense kirtan. The vibration of hundreds of voices in the air is almost too much to stand. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling an almost unbearable anxiousness for the waiting to be over. Finally, after what seems like years, the curtains begin to move, and the shapes of bodies can be seen as the pujaris make their hasty exit. The kirtan reaches a roaring peak as Balabhadra gives voice to the mounting energy. All the devotees are dancing and bouncing off eachother madly.
Finally – finally, two pujaris appear on either end of the altar, and the strong sound of conchshells resound in my head. Sweet, heavy smoke is pouring off the alter – the curtains are opening! Oh, so painfully slow they are opening. On my left, Tulsi Priya is sobbing. All the franksincense is now escaping, huge billows rolling over the crowd, so thick that even though the altar is now completely opened, it is still a few moments before I can see anything. A little patch clears, and I get a glimpse of the spiritual realm. I have smoke and tears in my eyes, but I can still make out an outfit of delicate pink lace and dripping with pearls. The Govindam prayers echoe through my mind and my lips, and I gaze upon their Lordships, so beautiful…SO beautiful…They have stolen my heart, and I never want it back. This has been the most amazing Radhastami of my life.