By Sriram Gopal das
Dear Devotees, Hare Krishna!
Dandavats, All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
After the blissful celebration of Sri Krsna Janmashtami, comes the appearance of Srimati Radhika, who expressed the highest and topmost form of transcendental loving service to the Lord. Radhashtami is celebrated as the appearance day of Srimati Radharani, who appeared in Rawal (near Barasana, India) as the daughter of Sri Vrishabhanu and Mother Kirtida.
On 5th Sep, The importance of festival and reasons behind its celebrations were beautifully narrated in premises of Gauranga Centre (Little India, Singapore). It helped all devotees to get enriched with the knowledge of pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna & Srimati Radharani, filling their minds with happiness, peace and wisdom. We celebrated this most joyous festival where everyone had uninterrupted darshan of Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Madan Mohan. This is the only occasion in the entire year when we can take darshan of Srimati Radharaniâ€™s lotus feet! Everyone took part in this joyous occasion with great pleasure, amidst hearing the glories of Srimati Radharani, ecstatic kirtan, chanting of the Holy Names, Maha-arati and sumptuous prasadam! It is awesome to see all the devotees to dance to the tune of Kirtan. Devotees forgot all their worldly sorrows and came together to worship the Lord and spread the divine happiness amongst one and all.
Year 2011 is a milestone for Krsna Conscious preaching efforts in Singapore as Lord granted us a centre (Gauranga Centre, Little India, Singapore) where regular weekly programs can be held. Lord Jagannath, Baladev & Subhadra arrived in Singapore by Their sweet will, to preside and protect our devotional service. To welcome Them, we conducted a fire sacrifice and welcome ceremony for Their Lordships on Saturday 11th June 2011. On 26th Jun 2011, we had Rathayatra for their Lordships at Yishun Stadium which was gracefully attended by over 3000 devotees. On this most joyous Chariot festival, Their Lordships Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra showered us with Their mercy by coming into the open sky, in specially designed huge cart, amidst great kirtan and chanting of the Holy Names!
On 22nd Aug, we had a spectacular celebration of the year - the Transcendental Birth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Janmashtami was celebrated at Khalasa Association Hall, attended by over 2000 devotees. The occasion was highlighted by enacting of two dramas by the Gopal’s Garden children & one drama by youth boys. This was followed by abhishek of Their Lordships amongst the melodious kirtans & Maha-arati at 12 am. Every devotee present got opportunity to perform abhishek for the Lord & honour the Charanamrita. We also had Janmashtami celebration with various Krishna Conscious skits by children at Sengkang area, a skeletal Bhagavad Gita program prospering in short duration.
A week following Janmashtami, were series of Swing festivals known as Jhulan Yatra, celebrated at Gauranga Centre and also in homes of devotees. For all 5 days we could swing Sri Sri Radha Madan-mohan in their special swing and each day the swing would be decorated by many devotees with hours of tireless efforts, with various flowers decorations & with lot of devotion. We had many students from National University of Singapore for all these programs, who have been enthusiastically attending weekly Bhagavad Gita programs in the University Campus.
Please access below links for more pictorial details on these celebrations:
Swing Festival: https://picasaweb.google.com/102739287190117140736/JhoolanYatra#
Srila Prabhupada writes in his unparalleled purport in Srimad Bhagavatam 6.16.44:
“…From our present position, the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be personally seen as the Deity in the temple. The Deity of the Lord is not different from the Supreme Lord. Because we cannot see the Supreme Lord with our present blunt eyes, the Lord has kindly consented to come before us in a form we can see. Therefore the Deity in the temple should not be considered material. By offering food to the Deity and by decorating and serving the Deity, one gets the same result that one derives from serving the Lord personally in Vaikuntha.’
For more details, please access singapore congregation website: www.krishnaclub.com