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ISKCON Temple Celebrated A Grand Radhashtami

Geetha Patil

Hundreds of devotees gathered at the ISKCON Boston temple, like millions of devotees in India and around the world who gathered in various Krishna temples, to offer prayers, worship, and devotional songs glorifying the appearance of the Divine mother, Radharani on Friday, 9th Sep, 2016. Chants of ‘Radhe Radhey’ echoed in the air of the temple since early Friday as devotees here celebrated Radhashtami, the birth of Lord Krishna’s consort Radha with great religious fervor. Radhastami is celebrated mostly by Krishna's devotees as the appearance day of Shrimati Radharani, who is Krishna's greatest devotee, the feminine aspect of the Absolute Truth, and the Krishna's energy which is personified as Radha.

Krishna devotees believe that one cannot ever attain Madhava without the mercy of Shrimati Radharani. The only goal of Krishna devotees is to become the servant of Shrimati Radharani, the most devotional servant of Lord Krishna. On Radhashtami day all the devotees engage themselves in singing, hearing the glories of Shrimati Radhika and also serve Her. In Shrimad Bhagavatam Katha, Shri Krishna says, “The moment I hear the sound ‘Ra’ from anyone’s lips, I grant them my supreme prema-bhakti. But the next moment when I hear the sound ‘dha’, I completely lose myself and become intoxicated in Radha-nama. Because of my great longing to hear the name of My Beloved, I run after the devotees who chant Radha-nama.” The Hare Krishna maha-mantra is in fact a prayer to Shrimati Radharani. The word ‘Hare’ is derived from ‘Hara’ which denotes the internal energy or Shakti of Krishna. Additionally, Radhashtami is the only day on which devotees receive Darshan of Radharani’s lotus feet. On all other days Her feet remain covered.

 The Radhashtami celebrations began in the afternoon at 1:00pm with singing of melodious Bhajans by devotees. Gaura Arati started at 6:00p followed by special Abhishekam of Ma Radharani and Lord Krishna performed by temple priest Pandit Antaryami Das with all the Vedic Vidhi Vidhans and Mantras. And the deities were lovingly bathed by the priest with milk, curd, honey, and fruit Juices of various colors and tastes. The Abhishekam went on for around 30 minutes amidst of chanting of Hare Krishna. The festivities started with an evening of Radharani Stories by Shri Paramarupa Das and pleasant devotional songs by devotees to the beats of drums and strains of harmonium created an air of spiritual atmosphere. After the Sayana Arati at 8:30pm, devotees were eagerly waiting for the Charanamritam of deities which was available in enough quantity. Everyone was relishing the tasty Charanamritam and Prasad having blissful smiles on their faces. Prasadam was sponsored by Shri Vishwanath Gorti and family, Ritu Madan, Jintendra Goela, Shyama, Mohini, Rajanath Das, and Vinod Sharma and prepared and served by the dedicated volunteers. The whole event was organized by Vishakha Priya Dasi. The weather being enjoyable, we saw a large turnout.

One of the devotees visiting first time said, ‘Priest gave us some Maha-Prasad fruits. I felt blessed beyond my expectations. My son was delighted on receiving the Maha-Prasad.”

Another devotee said, “These celebrations gave us a first-hand experience about the process of Devotional Service. We feel fortunate for being part of such Joyful exchanges of love between Lord and his devotees. We look forward to be part of many mores such celebrations.”




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