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Salila Vihara – Water Pastime of The Lord

Sri Sri Radha Madhava enjoys various wonderful water pastimes in Mayapur, such as the boating pastimes They enjoyed during the Candan-yatra season. Following the Candana-yatra festival another festival of water pastimes, known as Salila Vihar. The Salila Vihar festival is meant for the pleasure of the Divine Couple to keep Them cool during the hot summer season. In the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Chapter 10, texts 41-52, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami describes the water pastimes of Sri Krishna Caitanya:
“…When they met the Lord, they began to cry loudly in ecstatic love. Because of the pastimes in the water, there was great jubilation on the shore, with music, singing, chanting, and dancing creating a tumultuous sound. Indeed, the chanting and crying of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas mixed and created a tumultuous sound vibration that filled the entire universe. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu entered the water with His devotees and began His pastimes with them in great jubilation.”

In Sridhama Mayapur, Sri Sri Radha Madhava enjoys the Salila Vihar festival by sitting in the middle of a beautiful lotus-shaped pond filled with hundreds of blossoming lotus flowers, each containing sacred Tulasi leaves. This lotus pond is constructed in the Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir on the platform below Sri Sri Radha Madhava’s altar and is covered by a fragrant flower canopy. A fountain sprays cooling lotus-and-tulasi-scented water on the transcendental bodies of the Divine Couple.

Devotees come daily with fresh lotus flowers to offer and decorate Their Lordships with, along with sweet Bhoga offerings, after which this prasadam is then distributed to the queue of devotees and visitors waiting for the Lord’s Mahaprasadam. Every evening for just over two weeks Sri Sri Radha Madhava thus enjoys Their summertime water pastimes, and blissfully engages and enlivens Their devotees. Despite the sweltering heat, the Mayapur residents are always enthusiastic to serve and please the Lords of their hearts, even at the cost of their own comfort, because when the Lord is pleased, His devotees are automatically pleased and satisfied within themselves.

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