By Deena Bandhu dasa
On Sunday we had the ecstatic grand finale of the 6th anniversary of Vrinda Kunda Temple. All the devotees gathered beside Pavana Sarovar and after a nice hot breakfast of kichari, we began the preparations for the famous Kalash Yatra. All the ladies picked a nice clay pot and put some water inside from Pavana Sarovar, then a small clay cover over the mouth of the pot, bright yellow cloth with silver trim, and finally a coconut.
The Brijabasi ladies trained up our foreign ladies, most of whom were from China as their visit to Braja happenned to coincide with their trip. As soon as we started up the kirtan, the Brijabasinis showed off how they could dance balancing the pot on their heads with no hands. We circumambulated the village of Nandagram where Krishna and Balaram lived 5000 years ago with Nanda and Yashoda. All the Nandagram vasis were astonished to see videshi (foreign) ladies carrying water pots.
Finally we climbed up to Nanda Maharaja’s Temple on top of the hill, where we rested and had an enthusiastic kirtan. One of the Chinese ladies danced very beautifully with her pot in the temple room. Of course she was holding the pot with one had, but the Brijavasinis again showed off how to do it with no hands. Then one other tall Chinese lady also began to dance with no hands also, much to the pleasure of all.
The procession again started back down the hill and heading toward Vrinda Kunda. It was a bright sunny day, but not too hot, and a cool spring breeze to refreshen everyone. Arriving at Vrinda Kunda, the ladies placed their pots all around the temple. We reached just in time for aratika where all the devotees were amazed by the beautiful darshan of Vrinda Devi in her flower bedecked temple rising out of the kunda. Meanwhile all the Brijabasis went over to the lawn on the side and sang and danced their enchanting Brij songs and gopi dancing.
After aratika, we served prasad to all the Brijabasis, while our devotees sat and listened to the katha of Nandagram and Vrinda Kunda. Then everyone tried their hand at churning yogurt into butter. Finally everyone sat down on the lawn in the shade of the trees and took prasada, just like Krishna and the cowhered boys used to do.
You can relish all the pictures at the link below. You will see many Chini Gopis as well as well as quite a few Prabhupada disciples. You will see Trishakti Devi Dasi, from Prabhupada Village, carrying her pot and when she got tired, her husband, Vyapaka helped out. Ludvamsi was there from Kiev in the Kirtan. Rama Vigraha from Murari Sevaka with his wife Murali Priya. Kapilasva from Alachua with his daughter Chandrika.
In service of Srimati Vrinda Devi, Deena Bandhu dasa