On the 8th of October, Radhanath Swami attended the annual Sharad Purnima festival at the Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple, Mumbai. Sharad Purnima is the first day of the holy month of Kartik, the full moon night when Krishna danced with His beloved devotees the gopis in the forest of Vrindavan. Every year on the night of Sharad Purnima, the devotees at the Mumbai temple come together to decorate the altar, giving it a look of the lush forest of Vrindavan.
Amidst melodious chanting of kirtans, more than 2,500 devotees were treated with a visual and spiritual treat. Radhanath Swami spoke on the occasion and below are some excerpts of what he shared.
“Every living being is seeking pleasure, and the only thing that gives pleasure to Krishna, God, is love. In the spiritual realm, everything exists simply for the purpose of exchanging love. And Krishna comes to this world to perform sweet pastimes like Rasa lila to attract us back to our original home, the spiritual world.”
“Krishna attracts us by asking us to ‘reset’ our consciousness. In a computer, when we reset, we erase everything and restore it back to the original. Similarly we have collected many artificial impressions in our consciousness over so many lifetimes. All this karma gets burnt away when we surrender-‘reset’- our consciousness to God. The negative karma has been uploaded for many lifetimes, and when we realize I am an eternal servant of Krishna, we let go all the past programming of our consciousness. And by performing these sweet pastimes, Krishna is helping us reset our consciousness.”
“The truth of love culminates in the highest expression of the love of the gopis for Krishna. This love called Prema Bhakti cannot be understood by memorizing ten million verses; it’s accessible only by grace. When the abode of love, Shrimati Radharani bestows upon us her mercy, we can begin to appreciate a drop of this oceanic love.”
“A blue lotus flower blooms only when it is touched by the rays of full moon. Otherwise it remains closed with no fragrance. And when it blossoms it manifests the most intoxicating, sweet fragrance that fills the atmosphere in all directions. Our hearts, like that blue lotus are tightly shut now. And when Sri Radha’s grace shines upon us, it naturally opens our heart which then blossoms with ecstatic love. We are then forever happy, and that fragrance spreads everywhere to everyone.”
“Therefore, the most real and fulfilling romance is in giving our hearts to Krishna without a tinge of selfishness. And we can practically show our love for Krishna by cooperating with each other.”