Sri Sri Radha Govinda
His Holiness Giriraj Swami and a group of devotees were invited to this year’s Radhastami festival at the house of Sarvatma dasa and Divyananda dasi. The celebrations consisted of devotional chanting of Hare Krsna kirtanas, bhajanas, lecture, arati, and a sumptuous feast prepared for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha Govinda. After Sarvatma prabhu led the crowd into sweet Hare Krsna kirtana, he sang Radhika-stava, a famous song from Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Stavamala. Then, Kandarpa Manjari beautifully sang Sri Vraja-dhama-mahimamrta–The Nectarean Glories of Vraja-dhama–a song composed by Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. She ended her chanting with the glorification of several names of the Deities of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, worshiped in our ISKCON temples, worldwide.
The eloquent Radhastami message was delivered by HH Giriraj Swami who was the guest speaker for the occasion. Maharaja read from Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 9.13: The Most Confidential Knowledge. This was followed by the traditional arati ceremony performed by Giriraj Swami, during which Sri Radhika dasi blissfully chanted Hare Krsna kirtana and throughout the arati, loud chants of “Radhe-Radhe” filled the air. The temple room was electrified when she started Jaya Radhe Jaya Radhe Radhe, a traditional Vraja song, glorifying Sri Sri Radha-Krsna by Hari-Vyasa Devacarya. She concluded her singing with the ecstatic and unanimous chant of “Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe-Syama!“, just like one hears in Vraja.
The evening ended with a feast made of rice, pies, chickpea sabji, spinach and panir sabji, plum and coconut chutneys, salad, strawberry ice-cream, a melt-away carob sweet and last but not least, the host’s famous blueberry cheese cake. The entire atmosphere was spiritually uplifting by the charming presence of the Deities of Sri Sri Radha Govinda, beautifully dressed and decorated in a flower outfit by Divyananda dasi.
Srimati Radharani ki jaya! Barsane Wali ki jaya! Sri Radhastami ki jaya!
–Krishna Kirtan dasa
Lecture from Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 9.13 by Giriraj Swami