#1 | Holi 2020 Has Begun!
Following the Master | Holi Vrindavan India 2020
06 March 2020
On the fourth of March, the day before the start of a spiritual journey with Paramahamsa Vishwananda in Vrindavan, He gave a spontaneous short satsang to almost all the participants who had arrived.
During the satsang, Guruji reminded everybody how important it is to stay focused while chanting the Name of God and to visualise the Lord in His form. The prayers ended with an ecstatic kirtan and with the grace of Guruji dancing with everybody.
The next day was the first official day of activities with Guruji for the pilgrims. The morning began as usual with morning prayers and Giridhari abhishekam performed by Guruji. All those present were invited to pour water on Giridhari and, after the prayers, Guruji personally distributed prasad to everyone.
After a series of organisational meetings, the group set off for a temple run at around 5 pm. Of course, we began by visiting Guruji’s favourite temple, Banke Bihari. Vrindavan is swept up in early Holi celebrations, and as soon as we arrived at the temple, we saw crowds exiting looking far more colourful than when they had entered, and so we knew we were in for a fun ride!
After a brief but sweet darshan of Banke Bihariji, and our first douse of colour, the group headed on to our next destination - the Sri Radha Vallabha temple. There the crowds were so intense that Guruji preferred to remain outside while the near 300 pilgrims dashed in to receive darshan. Looking progressively more and more coloured, the group then headed on to the Radha Damodar temple. This temple was established by Sri Jiva Goswami and houses not only his samadhi but also that of Sri Rupa Goswami. It contains several deities served by a number of prominent Goswamis of the Gaudiya Vaishnava lineage, such as Sri Krishna Das Kaviraj (author of the Caitanya Caritamrta) and Sri Jayadev (author of the Gita Govinda). There is also a Govardhan shila with the imprint of Krishna’s foot, personally given by the Lord to Sri Sanatan Goswami. After paying our respects to all the deities and saints, we moved on to Seva Kunj, the place where Krishna used to serve Radha in preparation for the Rasa Lila. After arati, Guruji spoke about the ongoing Rasa Lila that takes place there every night, and how even the animals of Vrindavan know to leave that place at night!
After Seva Kunj, the group headed to the temple of Radha Shyamsundar. This is where the famous deity of Krishna manifested by Radharani and given to Dukhi Krishna (later known as Shyamananda Prabhu) is to be found. All the pilgrims took darshan of this famous Krishna before heading out to the front courtyard of the temple, where Guruji told the story of Dukhi Krishna in brief. By this time most temples had closed, except for one that Guruji had never visited before, just around the corner. Affectionately known as ‘Saligram Mandir’, we went in only to find several very large and beautiful shaligrams. We took our final darshan and headed home, calling it a night on our first intense, eventful and, of course, colourful day!
Stay tuned for more posts as we ‘Follow the Master’ on an adventure to the Divine!