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The most Holy Sri Radhastami Festival
My dandavat pranams on this most Holy Day, the Appearance Day of Srimati Radharani!
Today 14 of us accompanied Srila Acharya Maharaj on a bus to celebrate the Holy Radhastami Festival in Sri Hapaniya Dham!
The significance of spending this special day at the Holy Birthplace of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar dev Goswami Maharaj is not lost on us.
The line of Rupa Goswami, the line of Seva to Srimati Radharani, which is the line of das anu das anu das, was embodied wholly in Srila Guru Maharaj and we are celebrating and honoring the festival here, in His Holy Birthplace.
The land of sweet waters is also the land of sweet breezes today. The air is heavy with the approaching rains and sticky and muggy, but as we drove there, it cooled down and when we departed the bus and entered the beautiful temple grounds, the breezes started and relief came.
The small Nat Mandir was filled and Srila Acharya Maharaj started the bhajans. The sentimental fool that I am–I love this day for many reasons–but I remember coming to Srila Guru Maharaj and hearing that this Name of Sri Radha is so special, so Divine and so Intimate, that only once a year on Her Divine Appearance are we to chant Her verses. So, I wait and when the chanting starts, I am loudly singing like Madhurapriya Didi! Most of the local devotees are staring at me and I don’t even care. All these songs are so special and when Srila Ashram Maharaj leads the “Radhikastakam,” I am remembering Srila Guru Maharaj even more as that is the only tape we had for years to listen to of His Divine Grace’s beautiful singing. Each bhajan is more and more special and I think how is it that I am here and with these special devotees and on this day? Well, that is a no brainer–by the Divine Mercy of Srila Gurudev! In His infinite wisdom and kindness, he is allowing me into this pastime of “service at a time of need.” I am ever grateful and humbled to be allowed to be here.
Srlia Acharya Maharaj begins speaking by telling us all of the finding of this special temple. He reminds us how Srila Gurudev begged Srila Sridhar Maharaj to just show him where it was, and when this spot was located, the most beautiful temple was built. (I was so happy and honored to see Yudhamanyu Prabhu here and remember his collecting party that helped to fund this very temple). Srila Acharya Maharaj went on to say that at that time, many of Srila Guru Maharaj’s Godbrothers came to this place and declared it non-different from Sri Barshana Dham!
After that, Srila Ashram Maharaj spoke of the line of Sri Rupa, which we all know was Srila Guru Maharaj’s special identification, and the fact that we are all servants. In this line, we bow to Seva Personified, who is Srimati Radharani. And this is our identity as servants of the servants of the servants.
Srila Janardan Maharaj spoke on an incredible and deep level touching the point that yesterday was Sri Lalita saptami and how Sri Lalita cannot tolerate even one drop of sweat on the brow of Srimati Radharani. Her whole being is to serve Srimati Radharani. He reiterated that our line is one of service and we have no other life aside from serving. He then said, that is why I am here. I had no other reason to come. But, I want to show my support for Srila Acharya Maharaj. I support what he is doing and standing for and I cannot tolerate this anti party behavior. This is not the time of year that I usually come, but basically, the call was made and I am here. And now (he did not say, but because of him and his strength, courage and fortitude) Srila Ashram Maharaj, Yudhamanyu Prabhu, Sanatani, Madhuchanda and we are all here for the same reason. We are servants.
This was such an intimate and special program. Yudhamanyu Prabhu said it was a watershed moment, a time when you see the markings of historical change. The beautiful sweet mood was overflowing.
Of course no report is complete without mentioning the prasadam! Super opulent! Three different sabjis, kittrie, fries, dahl that was a little sweet, rasagulas and sweet rice! All delicious! All served sweetly! All happy!
I’m including some photos with this report. All Glories to Sri Radhastami! All Glories to Sri Hapaniya Dham! All Glories to Srila Acharya Maharaj! All Glories to Srila Ashram Maharaj! All Glories to Srila Janardan Maharaj! All Glories to Sripad Yudhamanyu Prabhu Seva Vikram! All Glories to Pitambar Prabhu! All Glories to Madhuchanda, LaksmiKanti, Krsna PremaTarangini, Sruti, Indira, and Sudevi Devi Dasis as well as Gadadhara , Nilamani and Purnapragna Prabhus.
All Glories to the beautiful devotees of Sri Hapaniya Dham!
My dandavat pranams to all the devotees and please forgive my offences and of course, paraphrasing of the most beautiful and sweet words of our Gurus.