Someone once asked me why Iskcon temples have so many festivals and that got me thinking. If the festivals were not there, life would be so boring with us just working in our mundane day to day activities. There is so much to do and prepare when these festivals come by. You make full use of the skills you have for the Lord and you even discover you are able to do so much more than you ever thought possible.
The atmosphere in Klang during Radhastami was exuberant. The deities filled our hearts with so much joy. Alka mataji allowed us have her Radha Krishna deities again for this festival. HG Vraja Bhumi and HG Sundari Gopi mataji had taken four months to make beautiful bright blue with mirrors and beadwork outfits for their deities. When I handed them the deities a day before Radhastami, I never expected them to sew outfits for Them as well. They must have been up the whole night working on it.
The altar looked like a mini replica of Vindavan, blissful with fruits and vines, plus cuckoos and parrots above them. The swans and fawns graced the front of the altar while monkeys and other birds surrounded the beautifully decorated swing for Their Lordships to enjoy. The smell of fruits and sweets flowers filled the altar that evening.
Their Lordships were given a hearty welcome with tumeric water washing their path and flower petals thrown onto Them. After the arati, and an ecstatic kirtan, it was time for the puspa abhishek.
The deities looked so joyful as different colours of flower petals, from magenta, to white, yellow, dark yellow, pink, llac, purple, orange and dark orange were showered onto them. As the petals rose up to their necks, the deities looked even more elated. The sound of the blowing of the conch, the ladies reverberating ulu-ulu by moving the tongue against the inner lips to make a loud sound, plus loud chanting of “Radhe Radhe” sent electric pulses through our bodies. Everyone looked so very happy, faces gleaming in happiness.
Next was the swing festival. The deities were placed on a small swing and were pushed gently in the little grove that was created. The cuckoos seemed to sing along as HG Udoy prabhu led the song “Radhe Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite”. It was a really sweet event, the deities memerising all of us while They were being swung.
In Vrindavan the effulgent ground is fashioned with many very wonderful colourful cintamani jewels, the trees and vines are full of blissful spiritual fruits and flowers, the birds make a great tumult by reciting the hymns of the Sama Veda, and the lakes and streams are filled with transcendental nectar. May my heart meditate on Vrindavan in this way.
Srila Prabhupada explained that “It is not that such devotees meet Krishna face to face in that tract of land, but a devotee’s eagerly searching after Krishna is as good as his seeing Him personally. How this is so cannot be explained, but it is factually realized by those who are pure devotees of the Lord.” Because Krishna, His name, form, pastimes and remembrance are all on the absolute plane, to search for Him at Vrindavan in pure God consciousness gives more pleasure to the devotee than seeing Him face to face.” The Brahma-samhita (5.38) confirms that those devotees whose eyes are anointed with the pulp of love always see the eternal form of Shyamasundar within their hearts.