Click the following to view full galleries:
All of the devotees here at Mayapur had a wonderful festival for Srimati Radharani, including beautiful dramas, gift offerings, amazing decorations, abhishek, and sumptuous bhoga offerings. Many devotees from all around India came to attend the program and glorify Srimati Radhrani, the festivities seemed to be much greater than even Janmastami!
On the day of Radhastami our Mayapur campus was decorated with “Jaya Radhe” signs all over the trees, and big posters were also in place. The devotees were anxiously waiting to see curtains open at 8:30am after hearing sweet nectarian classes by HH Bhakividya Purna Maharaj and HH Jayaptaka Maharaj glorifying SrimatiRadharani. When the curtains finally opened everyone was stunned by the amazing altar darshan. To honor Her on this auspicious day everyone was given the opportunity to purchase some gift for Radha from a temporary shop that was setup in the temple room. A couple of short dramas were then performed for the pleasure of the devotees while they were waiting for the abhishek to begin.
An amazingly colorful abhishek took place, with a pushpa abhisek afterwards. Sri Sri Radha-Madhava were then offered many amazing, and tasty bhoga preparations for their pleasure.
The evening was the most ecstatic part of the festival. All the devotees came together to dance and chant the glories of Radharani through kirtan. For over two and a half hour devotees sang their hearts out while the devotees were dancing in ecstasy.
All glories to Srimati Radhrani.
In describing Srimati Radharani, it is also said in the Vidagdha-madhava (1.32) by Rupa Gosvami, “The beauty of Srimati Radharani’s eyes forcibly devours the beauty of newly grown blue lotus flowers, and the beauty of Her face surpasses that of an entire forest of fully blossomed lotuses. Her bodily luster seems to place even gold in a painful situation. Thus the wonderful, unprecedented beauty of Srimati Radharani is awakening Vrindavana.”
“Although the effulgence of the moon is brilliant initially at night, in the daytime it fades away. Similarly, although the lotus is beautiful during the daytime, at night it closes. But, O My friend, the face of My most dear Srimati Radharani is always bright and beautiful, both day and night. Therefore, to what can Her face be compared?” (Vidagdha-madhava 5.20)
“When Srimati Radharani smiles, waves of joy overtake Her cheeks, and Her arched eyebrows dance like the bow of Cupid. Her glance is so enchanting that it is like a dancing bumblebee, moving unsteadily due to intoxication. That bee has bitten the whorl of My heart.” (Vidagdha-madhava 2.51)
The day was also the auspicious appearance of Srimati Vishaka Sakhi. She was also decorated very nicely for this special occasion.
Visakha is the second most important of the eight varistha-gopis. Her attributes, activities and resolve are all much like those of her friend Lalita. Visakha was born at the exact same moment as her dear friend, Srimati Radharani, appeared in this world. Visakha’s garments are decorated with stars and her complexion is like lightning, being cream-colored with a tinge of red (gaurangi). She is 14 years, 2 months and 15 days in age. Her father is Pavana, the son of the sister of Mukhara-gopi, and her mother is Daksina-devi, the daughter of the sister of Jatila. Her husband is Bahuka (Vahika-gopa). Her residence is cloudlike in color. She appears in gaura-lila as Sri Ramananda Raya.
Visakha-devi is the intimate friend of the Divine Couple. Although she is more exalted than the younger gopis (the gopi messengers lead by Vrnda devi), she also takes up the work of carrying messages between Radha and Krsna and she is the most intelligent and expert of all the gopi messengers. Loquacious Visakha is expert at joking with Lord Govinda, and she is the perfect counsellor of the Divine Couple. Being expert at all aspects of amorous diplomacy, she knows all the arts of how to conciliate an angered lover, how to bribe him, and how to quarrel with him.
Visakha is very dear to Sri Krsna and has the bhava known as svadhina-bhartrka. Her seva is dressing and decorating. In Sri Visakha’s yutha the chief sakhis are Malati, Madhavi, Candrarekha, Subhanana, Kunjari, Harini, Surabhi and Capala.