Remembering Krishna as Spring Begins
The spring season is considered to be the best of all seasons, for its attractive qualities are especially pleasing to Lord Krishna. Krishna Himself states in the Bhagavad-gita: “Of seasons I am flower-bearing spring.” (10.35). Srila Prabhupada comments in his purport to this verse, “Of course spring is a season universally liked because it is neither too hot nor too cold, and the flowers and trees blossom and flourish. In spring there are also many ceremonies commemorating Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes; therefore this is considered to be the most joyful of all seasons, and it is the representative of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa.” (Srila Prabhupada, Purport to Bhagavad-gita 10.35)
The arrival of the spring season is celebrated in Vrindavana and in Mayapur as Vasanta Panchami. This day, which falls on the fifth day of the waxing moon, is considered to be the first day of spring and this festival is one of the most extraordinary in the spring season. On this day, the freshness and brightness of the spring season are emphasized by the prominence of the color yellow. In many temples, the Deities are dressed in yellow clothing and offered an abundant variety of yellow flowers and fresh green leaves, and many of Their devotees also dress in festive yellow garments.
In ISKCON Mayapur, the Vasanta Panchami darshan of Radha Madhava and Their Asta-sakhis is one of the most beautiful in the entire year. Each year the Deities are dressed in new garments created especially for this day. The opulence of Their new clothing comes not from elaborate embroidery and shining stones but from the delicate beauty of fresh flowers. A variety of yellow flowers decorate Their clothing and are fashioned into fragrant jewellery. Their altar, completely covered with arrangements of flowers and creepers, appears as if it is the personification of the spring season. Even the gopis take on the hue of this season: Their white forms are colored with saffron until They glow golden. Amidst this array of vibrant yellow, Madhava’s dark form stands out like a jewel in a golden necklace.
The arrival of the spring season is especially celebrated because of the rasa-lila pastimes enjoyed by Krishna and the gopis during this season. It is described by Rupa Goswami in Sri Vidagdha-Madhava, “Springtime had arrived, and the full moon of that season inspired the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is complete in everything, with new attraction to meet the beautiful Srimati Radharaṇi at night to increase the beauty of Their pastimes.”
How wonderful it is that in Krishna consciousness, even the arrival of a new season offers the opportunity to meditate on the sweetness of Krishna’s pastimes.