Jai Sri Radhey!
Yesterday Radhastami was celebrated in Radha Kunda. I was unable to attend the festivities during the day, but at night I went for snana, parikrama of Sri Radha Kunda and also to take a few photos to post on this blog. The reason I didn’t post this timely is because my internet connection was down for 16 hours. The festivities were over by this time and the altars were all set back to normal. I took photos at many mandirs, but one of the problems I often face with taking pictures in the evening is the way the lighting is set up on the altars in Radha Kunda. Nearly always there seems to be a glaring light directly above and in front of the dieties, thus taking a clear and properly lit photo a near impossiblility. I had wanted to share several photos, but as things turned out hardly any photos came out clear enought to post. Tonight I will just post a photo of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Ananga Manjari taken on the evening of Sri Radhastami, accompanied by a couple of wonderful verses by Sri Prabodhananda Saraswati in his Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi. This grantha is astonishing beyond words and its seems to be the direct incarnation of Kripamayi Sri Radhey in book-form, just as the Srimad Bhagavat is considered to be non-different and also the book-form of Braja Bihari Sri Krishna. Prabodhananda Saraswatipada seems to have been especially empowered by Mahaprabhu in his writing to show that the braja-rasa-anurAga-mArg is the highest form of worship. He glorified the sentiments of Braja-rasa as the purest and best method for attaining prema of Sri Sri Radhey Shyam.
kAlindI-taTa-kuJja-mandira-gato yogIndravad yat-pada-
jyotir-dhyAna-paraH sadA japati yAM premAzru-pUrNo hariH |
kenApy adbhutam ullasad-rati-rasAnandena sammohitaH
sA rAdheti sadA hRdi sphuratu me vidyA parA dvy-akSarA || RRSN 96||
May the two supremely astonishing, blissful, rasik, erotic, and enchanting syllables “rA-dhA”, that fulfill all desires, that Sri Hari does japa of while sitting in a kunja on the bank of the Yamuna as the king of yogis, meditating on the effulgence of her lotus-feet with His eyes filled with tears of love, always be manifest in my heart.
devAnAm atha bhakta-mukta-suhRdAm atyanta-dUraM ca yat
premAnanda-rasaM mahA-sukha-karaM coccAritaM premataH |
premNAkarNayate japaty atha mudA gAyaty athAliSv ayaM
jalpaty azru-mukho haris tad amRtaM rAdheti me jIvanam || RRSN 97||
This name that is so far from the experience of the gods, from the devotees of Vaikuntha, from the liberated souls and from Krishna’s friends. This name, which upon being chanted with love, confers the ultimate joy of tasting the bliss of prema. It is this name that Hari listens to lovingly, sometimes doing japa of and, sometimes joyfully singing aloud, and He also chatters her name incessantly among Radha’s sakhis, his face covered with tears. The nectar of Radha’s name is my life.