Tasting a drop of true joy

BY CHITRANGADA DEVI DASI

Whilst relishing the resplendent beauty of Sri Sri Radha Madan-Mohan on Their Jhulan made of green creepers and myriad coloured flowers in Ujjain on 2006 and 2007, my mind would travel to the home of Shanti Rupa mataji  in SS3. I would imagine how sweet and beautiful Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda would look and wonder about the colour of Their Lordships clothes and what kind of jewellery They would be wearing.  On Friday the 15th, my heart was replete with satisfaction. They were more gorgeous and sweeter than what my mind was capable of conjuring. Their Lordships exquisite beauty is indeed spell binding and I could not get enough of Their transcendental beauty. I stood by Them, reciting the Brahmasamhita prayers (not knowing how else I could glorify Them ) and just  embraced the  moment with content. I am sure all the devotees who came and participated in this auspicious festival felt the same way. I felt so fortunate and blessed to have had the opportunity to ‘pull’ the Divine Couple that day. Though absolutely unqualified and undeserving of this opportunity, I understand that it is only by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and  my Gurudev that  I could partake in this amazing pastime of the Lord and His eternal consort.

However I also realized that Their Lordships, the Divine couple have such different moods, look and ‘presence’ in Their various  manifestations. In Ujjain, due to my  ‘attachment’ to Sri Sri Radha Madan-Mohan, I could see how ‘naughty and cheeky’ sometimes Madan-Mohanji would look on the Jhulan. He always looked like He was  enjoying His’ swing’. I was allowed to fan Them with the camara and hence I got to stand quite close to the Jhulan. These deities are so exquisite and Their faces are so expressive and  sweet. Hundreds of people would come into the Temple hall to swing Them. It was almost like They were enjoying the festivity of the occasion.  In Shanti Rupa matajis house however, in my most unworthy and spiritually  immature eyes, Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda was the epitome of elegance, grace, serenity and sweetness. Srimati  Radharani really looked like the Queen of Vrajadham, sparing Her loving glance to whomever She allowed to tug at her Jhulan. 

However this year  not only did  Their Lordships allow me to participate  in the Jhulan festival in Shanti Rupa matajis house, I  was over the moon when Ram Gopinath prabhu very kindly informed me that Sri Sri Radha Govinda will be  given Their last swing on Sunday the 17th! I was ecstatic. I have been missing Them in Calcutta and I wanted to see Them again after the Childrens Ratha Yatra.  It was just  another amazing experience! When Sri Sri Radha Govinda  came on to the Jhulan, Kalidas prabhu started singing songs in praise of Them. Everyone joined in,  calling out “Jaya Radha Govinda, Radha Govinda, Radhe!”   Then Their Lordships began Their pastime with a slow and gentle swing, pulled by the prabhus. However  after sometime, as the women folk began pulling Their Lordships, I saw Sundari Gopi mataji pushing the Jhulan from behind, vigorously, with a blissful smile on her face. Sri Sri Radha Govinda were swinging high , like 2 happy children! I then asked her if I could take over from her (I had to experience this bliss!)  She said “Okay, You push Them and I will go in front and push Them back” Like This They were swung with such a jubilant mood. Yes….that’s the word….jubilant, celebrative, joyful.  Wow…what a feeling. When I went back to the front, all I could do was smile happily and she said ”Radha Govinda look soooo happy”. So today I saw Sri Sri Radha Krishna, the Divine Couple in another mood – Joyful, full of fun wanting to swing higher and higher!

Click here to watch Them

What made the day even more special was when I saw Sri Sri Krishna Balaram on the altar. They were sent from Ujjain by a god brother of mine for Sita, the daughter of Kalidas prabhu just two days ago. These Deities have such sweet faces and Sri Krishna specially looked very very beautiful.  What a feast for the eyes. Now I have not only Radha Govinda here but Krishna Balaram too! 

Dear  devotees, as neophyte and as insignificant as we are as aspiring devotees and servants of the Lord, I sincerely believe that  the ONLY way we can relish any of these pastimes is by the mercy of the Guru.

Please  allow me iterate with humility and respect, what an unworthy servant I am and absolutely unqualified in the edicts of spiritual realization and practises. However I am convinced that whatever realizations and experiences  I do  have emanate from within my heart…. through the guidance and mercy of my spiritual master, HH Bhakti Charu Swami, who is my  guiding light, my shelter , my Lord and Master but most importantly, my only hope to reach the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada who will deliver me like a creeper to the lotus feet of the Divine Couple.

HG Uttama prabhu said in a class recently that one cannot even fathom or perceive the true joy and experience of this festival with our materially tainted eyes and that is so true. However with sincere desire to please the Lord, by performing unmotivated devotional service , service  devoid of  fame, envy, pride, anger, and lust  incorporated  with deep founded faith, I have full conviction that Srila Prabhupada would bless us with a  drop of that taste.

I  would like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to HG Shanti Rupa mataji and Iskcon Klang for the most special Jhulan festival ever.

All Glories to Sri Sri Radha Madan-Mohan!
All Glories to Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda!
All Glories to Sri Sri Radha Govinda!
All Glories to Jagad Guru Srila Prabhupada!