BOSTON: Hundreds of devotees gathered at the ISKCON Boston temple to offer prayers, worship, and devotional songs glorifying the appearance of Divine mother Radharani on Friday, 9 September.
Radhashtami is the only day on which devotees receive Darshan of Radharani’s lotus feet. On all other days Her feet remain covered.
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 Radharani, who is Krishna’s great devotee, the feminine aspect of Absolute Truth and Krishna’s energy which is personified as Radha.
Krishna devotees believe that one cannot 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 Radhikaji and also serve her.
The Radhashtami celebrations began in the afternoon at 1:00pm with singing of melodious bhajans by devotees. Gaura Aarti started at 6 pm 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. 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 chanting of Hare Krishna.
The festivities started with an evening of Radharani stories by Shri Paramarupa Das. Pleasant devotional songs by devotees to the beats of drums and strains of harmonium created an air of spiritual atmosphere. After the Sayana Aarti 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 with blissful smiles on their faces.
Prasadam was sponsored by Shri Vishwanath Gorti and family, Ritu Madan, Jitendra Goela, Shyama, Mohini, Rajanath Das and Vinod Sharma and prepared and served by dedicated volunteers.
The whole event was organized by Vishakha Priya Dasi. The weather being enjoyable, there was a large turnout.
A 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.”