Sunday, September 2, 2018

Jhulan Purnima Utsav at our Temple in Navadvipa

Jhulan Utsav 2018

The autumn Swing Festival of Radha and Krishna is a v sweet and rasa-filled pastime. If you are having the right attitude of service, the Gopis of Vrinadavan will take you in to serve in the divine Lila. Lila means play. Ecstatic play. And that is what the energy of Vrindavan invites you into.

The swing on which the couple sit, lovingly pushed by the sakhis of Radha gently moves toward and away from you. Such a powerful metaphor, the swing. Sometimes, they stand on the swing, and Krishna pushes the swing high into the sky, making Radha tremble and sway, leaving her with no option but to cling to him tightly for support. Her clothes come undone, and she feels very shy. Sometimes they sit, facing each other, lost in each others eyes. The sakhis sing and dance, and gently sway them to and fro. The heat and humidity of the monsoons is relieved by the breeze creating by the swinging.

The deities in the temple were dressed in joyous colours and their temple became an arbor of loving dalliance, filled with flowers and shrubs. The evenings were filled with melodious kirtans, where songs of the Jhulan lila are song,  as it occurs in timeless Vrindavan. Every poet who has written the soulful songs of the romance, allows his heart to take a leap of love, portraying for us the divine vision through lyrical words. Each word is imbued with devotion, and brings alive right in front of us, the play of Vrindavan. In Navadvipa, it is very easy to get unhooked from Kaal (time) , and get hooked to Kala (the black one).

The entire temple, lit with fairy tale lights, a ripe creamy moon, becomes a place of deep mystery  and initiation if your heart is ready and open to love.

My the blessing of my Gurudev always be with me, to be able to visit and serve in this holy land.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Gaur Purnima 2018

Gaur Purnima 2018 Celebrations at our Temple in Navadvipa

Our Temple lit up like a bride for Dol Purnima 2018 

As every year, the holy day of Gaur Purnima 2018 was celebrated with great devotion. As it is also the advent day of our beloved Guru, the day is specially holy. We had the most amazing serving of the divine pastimes of Radha and Krishna, of Gauranga Mahaprabhu through lila kirtan. The nectar of the Holy Name purified us so much, sung in Raga by the melodious kirtanias. Once a holy Vaishnav sage had told me: Lila Kirtan is a brilliant jewel that Bengal has offered the world.

The main temple newly renovated

The Deities wore gorgeous attires, fragrant garlands, and were adored by all of us to our hearts content. The special feasts prepared for the Deities were partaken by us as holy prasad, definitely giving us the feel of 'soul food'. The festivities in the temple and around the whole town, the fairy lights everywhere, the parikramas, the special hustle and bustle, shops selling puja items filled everyone with a joyous spirit. The majestic Ma Ganga is a sight to behold! No matter where the Gaudiya Vaishnavs are, at this time, they all arrive in the holy land of Navadvipa to partake of the special fervour and devotion that pulsates in this land on Gaur Purnima. 

I am always reminded of these lines of Vasudev Ghosh in the midst of my joy:

yadi gaura na hoito, tabe ki hoito, kemone dharitam de
radhar mahima, prema-rasa-sima,
jagate janato ke

(If Lord Gaura had not appeared as the yuga-avatara in this age of Kali, then what would have become of us? How could we have gone on living? Who would have revealed the ecstatic and hitherto unimagined love of Sri Radha?)

Our Gurdev's Samadhi Mandir

Navadvipa is a spiritual field, a Kshetra of bhakti. The one who knows the significance of space and time, will open their energy field fully to take in the special vibrations that pulses here at this time. They can partake of the subtle rasas of bhakti.. and with the blessings of their Guru can enter the divine lila through their own meditations and japa. Dol Purnima is an experiential adventure. One has to feel it, imbibe it, take it in. The one who is blessed takes back a treasure in their heart every time.

Our beloved Deities