The th anniversary of the appearance of Bhagavan Shri Shri Radha Golokvihari Ji at Shri Golok Dham Ashram, New Delhi, was celebrated this year with Shri Amarnidhi Hanuman Ji Yagya.
Maha Shivaratri was celebrated per Vaisnava norms on the th of February 2010 with night long Rudrabhishekam which was led by Acharya Pt. Shri Hariprasad Shastri Ji from Vrindavan. Accompanying him were Pt. Phanindra Ji, Shri Krishna Sharan Ji and other Brahmacharis from the Ashram. Shri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj participated in the Pujas, and the proceedings concluded nicely at am the next day with a wonderful Aarati. Golok Dham’s devotees participated, with a few even staying up the whole night with the Pandits and Brahmacharis to offer their devotion to the Lord of all Vaishnavas, Shri ‘Sharaneshwara’ Mahadev (Lord Gopishwara).
Festivities commenced the day after Shri Mahashivaratri with a day Hanuman Gyan Yagya led by the scholar, Shri Anurag Krishna Pathak Ji from Shridham Vrindavan. He delivered wonderful afternoon discourses on the devotional character of Shri Hanumanji as well as the reason for a prevalence of Hanuman Ji devotion amongst Vaishnavas of Vrindavan. The tale of Shri Hanuman Ji roaring from his deity at Sinhapura, Vrindavan to protect Vrindavan from a Moghul assault in the middle ages renewed people’s faith in the power of Shri Hanuman Ji. Before the evening lectures, in the morning there was an actual Hanuman Ji Yagya, conducted under the leadership of Acharya Pandit Hariprasad Shastri of Vrindavan. Shri Hanuman Ji Maharaj was worshipped with ahutis over the three days in the traditional Shukla-Yajurvedic manner.
This day continued as the previous day did with Havan in the morning and lectures in the evening, but the evening was made just a little more special by a very devoted disciple of Shri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj, Smt. Neeru Puri Ji, who invited the world-renowned classical singer of the Varanasi-Gharana, Pt. Shri Chhanulaal Mishra, who proceeded to enthrall the crowd with his mastery of music. His musical expertise however played second fiddle to his devotion, which was evident in the Padas he chose to sing. Later, he revealed to us that he worships Shri Shaligram Ji daily, and adheres to a strict Vaishnava diet and lifestyle – this pleased Shri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj greatly, as sadly modern singers have a penchant for singing even devotional music only after downing a few glasses of alcohol and a few mouthfuls of meat.
The grand day of Phulera Dooj is the actual anniversary day of the Lord, and as such, Shri Shri Radha Golokavihari Ji Bhagavan was taken out in the form of his Utsava deities in a chariot procession accompanied by Keertan and dancing devotees around the Ashram. The event was graced also by Mahamandaleshwar Swami Shri Swaroopanand Saraswati Ji from Shri Gautameshvar Mahadev Mandir in Sihor, Gujerat; Swami Shri Anant Das Tyagi Ji from Shri Goredau Ji Mandir, Vrindavan and all the way from Shrishaileshwara, Acharya Pt. Shri Deshmukh Ji, the Head priest of Shri Mallikarjuna Jyotirlingam. Together with Acharya Pt. Hariprasad Shastri Ji, and all the devotees, it was really a divine gathering. The Ratha made its way to the Gaushala, where Gau Puja was performed. Afterwards, the Lord enjoyed watching a Nand Utsava, where Prasadi money and sweets were showered into the crowd of enthusiastic devotees. Following this, the Lord returned to the Mandir amidst a shower of flowers, where the Abhishekam with -dhara’s was performed with the Sa-svara Paatha, Ghanapaatha, Jataa Paatha styles of reciting the Shukla Yajurveda by the masterful Pt. Deshmukhji. After this, the Lord recieved offerings of lotus flowers, rose flowers and tulasi leaves from the hands of the original Yajmaans through Shri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj and Swami Shri Swaroopanand Saraswati Ji. Raaj Bhog aarti and Prasadam concluded the morning.
The evening saw the conclusion of the Hanuman Ji Gyan Yagya, as well as the release of a new publication of the Sundarkand by the Golok Parikar, Canada devotees of the Sundarkand Ladies Group. Following this the main event: HOLI!!! A celebration of Holi was held with Rasiyas being sung by Chaubey Ji from Vrindavan. After the flower petals and kesar water were offered to God, then the whole temple room erupted in a multicolour shower of rose and marigold petals. All devotees participated and even Shri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj and Swamiji joined in. It was a wonderful end to the Anniversary day of the Lord.
Tuesday morning saw school children from the Heera Public School in Samalka visit the Ashram as per Guruji’s wishes. He blessed them, and gave each of them a diary for 2010 with inspirational Dharmic messages, as well as Prasadam. They then were the first to eat at the Ashram’s yearly Grand Feast. After them, another people were served Prasadam of Puri, Sabji, Chatni & Laddo from am till pm. Devotees helped out by serving, and many remarked about the feeling of contentment that is experienced from serving fellow humankind.
VRINDAVANs KUMBH MELA
The next day, as per the arrangements made by the Canadian devotee Shrimati Krishnakinkari Dasi Ji (Shrimati Kala Mata), Shri Sadgurudev Ji and a group of devotees left for Vrindavan in order to provide a feast for the blind Sadhus and Keertaniyas of Vrindavan. On arrival, Shri Sadgurudev Ji went to have Darshan of the Lord of our hearts, Shri Shri Baanke Bihari Ji Bhagavan. He then took all the devotees to have darshan of the Kumbh Mela held in Vrindavan concurrently with the one in Haridwar. (About years ago, the Kumbh was announced to be held in Haridwar, yet the local sadhus forbade any Vaishnavas from entering. In response, they organised a similar Kumbh on the banks of the Yamuna in Vrindavan, and more people turned up there than Haridwar! Since then, whenever there is a Haridwar Kumbh, one in Vrindavan also occurs).
Shri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj firstly went and performed Shri Yamuna Maharani’s Puja from a boat near Keshi Ghat with all the devotees. Afterwards, they went to SHRI NIMBARK NAGAR, the Tent City of the Nimbarka Sampradaya at the event where Shri Kanhaiyalal Ji’s Raas Mandali was giving darshan as Shri Shri Radha Raasvihari Ji. Having worshipped them, Shri Sadgurudev Ji made his way to the -Havan Kund Shri Gopal Mahayagya organised by Acharya Pt. Shri Vishnu Kant Shastri and his son Acharya Pt. Shri Mridul Kant Shastri Ji of Vrindavan Dhaam, which had been ongoing for over days. Shri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj also offered his devotions to the Shri Gopal Yantra, and made offerrings into the main Yagyakunda with the revered Shri Gopal Mantra. He was traditionally welcomed by Shastri Ji and his family and Shri Sadgurudev Ji blessed them. He was given a tour around the other activities organised by them – the continuous keertan of Shri Yugal Mahamantra (Radhe Krishna Radhe Krishna Krishna Krishna Radhe Radhe, Radhe Shyaam Radhe Shyaam Shyaam Shyaam Radhe Radhe) by Bhajananandi ladies; the Puran Paath by scholars and to a tent showcasing local Vraja arts and traditions.
All in all, it was a wonderful festival. Below are the pictures of the festivals for your viewing devotional pleasure!
Jay Jay Shri Radhe Shyaam!
Shri Nimbarka Bhagavan Ki JAY!
Shri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj Ki JAY!
Shri Anadi Vaishnava Dharma Ki JAY!!!
click on the thumbnails to see the ”Bigger Picture” 🙂