Sweet reminiscence of Janmastami and Radhastami in Mayapur
ISKCON Mayapur: “Today we are observing the Sri Krishna janmasahtami adhivas because lord Krishna Janmastami is one of the most holy days in the universe. Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita My birth and My work is transcendental. We will offer about 26 sacred items to the deities. We will offer that with various prayers. We have here the gurukula students who will chant the mantras and different pujaris, brahmanas and sanyasis will offer the sacred items. See the deities have come forward in their utsav murti and you can offer your prayers to the deities what seva you want to do. And tomorrow we will observe the janmastami the whole day till midnight.” –His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on Janmastami adhivas ceremony speech 2019.
The auspicious Janmastami day in Mayapur was stocked with spiritual events like samskaras, aratis and abhishek. Melodious kirtan went on for the whole day. The day started with stunning mangal arati darshan. The Bhagavatam class focused on the transcendental janma, tattva and karma of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The festival events in Mayapur consisted of day darshan, samskaras, abhisekh and night darshan.
The entire temple room was decorated amazingly for sringar arati. Sri sri Radha Madhav and Asta Sakhis were adorned with a new colorful dress. They were marvelously dressed with a variety of flowers, jewels and ornaments. The crowded temple full of devotees stood astounded taking darshan and singing to their lordships.
Devotees from the Gurukula then began preparations for the performance of Krishna’s samskaras. Devotees played different roles like Krishna, Nanda, Yashoda, and Garga muni. A large number of samskaras were performed, beginning from Jata Karma (Birth), Niskramanam (first outing), Nama karana (name giving), Paustika karma (nourishment), Anna prasana (first grains), Cuda karanam (hair cutting), Upanayanam (sacred thread), and finally Samavartana (graduation from Gurukula). Little boy Krishna then went out to everyone present in the temple room to collect Gurudakshina which was a wonderful sight to witness.
The abhisekh started two hours before midnight. They were bathed with Panca-gavya – the five sacred items from cow – and are then bathed with milk, yogurt, ghee, honey and sugar water, which are known as the five nectars. They were also bathed with seasonal and colourful juices from fruits such as mangoes, grapes, pomegranates, oranges, watermelons, and papayas. Water scented with saffron, rose, aguru, musk and kusha grass were also used to bathe Their Lordships, and fragrant flower waters made with flowers such as rose, bakul, lotus, jasmine, and gandharaj. Radha Madhava are also bathed in coconut water and are given two kinds of showers: Sarva Aushadi and Maha Aushadi, which uses natural medicinal and herbal substances to bathe the Lord.
A maha-arati was performed and Radha Madhava gave darshan in another new outfit. This was the grand Night darshan that devotees eagerly waited for after the curtains closed. Mean time there was charanamrta distributed to all the devotees in the panchatatya courtyard. Sumptuous anukalpa maha prasadam was then served to everyone who attended and fasted on this auspicious day.
Just 12 days after celebrating Janmastami there was a buzz all over Mayapur. The 4th of September was Lalita sasti and the devotees of Mayapur were getting set for yet another celebration, the appearance day of Mayapur’s most beloved Srimati Radharani. Pilgrims from local villages and abroad gathered in huge numbers to attend this grand festival. The Radha Premdan Kirtan Utsav commenced the day before the festival, an ecstatic kirtan was performed all day with devotees both residents of Mayapur and visiting devotees, getting to chant the maha mantra singing radhe! radhe!. Preparations carried on for the adhivas cermony and Radahastami.
In the evening, during adhivas the utsav murti Sri sri Radha Madahv came forward and were honored with 26 auspicious items. The devotees were encouraged to prepare their consciousness for Sri Radhastami the next day.
“We often pray to Radharani because She is the pleasure potency of Krsna. The very word “Krsna” means all-attractive, but Radharani is so great that She attracts Krsna. If Krsna is always attractive to everyone, and Radharani is attractive to Krsna, how can we imagine the position of Srimati Radharani? We should try humbly to understand and offer Her our obeisances, saying, “Radharani, You are so dear to Krsna. You are the daughter of King Vrsabhanu, and You are Krsna’s beloved. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You. Radharani is very dear to Krsna, and if we approach Krsna through the mercy of Radharani we can easily attain Him. If Radharani recommends a devotee, Krsna immediately accepts him, however foolish he may be.” – Srila Prabhupad on Elevation to Krishna Consciousness.
On the Radhastami day srimati Radharani gave her first darshan during mangal arati. Srimati Radhika dazzled wearing a yellow saree, her hair braided on both sides, glancing mercy to all devotees assembled, holding a bouquet of flowers in her hands. The bhagavatam classes started from 6AM discussing her glories, activities and birth narrated by various exalted vaishnavas. Srimati Radharani’s glorious birth occurred on the eighth day of the bright moon in the month of Bhadra. Srimati Vishakha Devi was also born on the same day. The entire temple altar was exquisitely decorated by various selfless hard working devotees. During darshan arti Her Divine Grace took your breath away. Srimati Radahrani was dressed in new clothes, ornaments, flower garlands and anklets. She was wearing a garden of all varieties of blooming flowers which attract even the maddened bumblebee Sri Krishna. Her bodily complexion snatched away the pride of a golden lotus flower and her fragrance spread all over the temple room. During that time the devotees chanted govindam adi purusham and nothing else mattered only our beloved Queen Srimati Radharani.
The devotees offered various gifs during the gift offering session and soon after the Radha Premdan Kirtan Utsav resumed from 10 Am which would go on till 10 Pm. The Maha Abhisekh started an hour before noon and this was the climax of the festival. The Radha Madhav utsav deities were bathed with various colors of auspicious items as the chanting mantras and the kirtan continued in the background. Bhoga offering, puspanjali and Maha arti followed. There was a feast prasadam served in all the kitchens for everybody who attended this glorious festival.
In the evening, devotees chanted sri Radhikastakam for the pleasure of Srimati Radharani with every line ending with one request – to always bestow upon me the service of Her lotus feet. Lamps were distributed for devotees to offer and sing at the same time. This day was all about Radharani!
Thank you to all the sponcerers and selfless servitude mentality of devotees who made this festival a grand success. All glories to Radharani – always bestow upon me the service of Your lotus feet!