Day 4/12 | Nidhivan and Radha Raman
Following the Master | Holi Pilgrimage Vrindavan 2019
The day began, as always, with morning prayer, which Guruji attended, only to decide that we would all perform Giridhari’s abhishekam together later in the evening.
After morning prayers concluded, the devotees attended their third Bhakti Marga Academy class with Swami Revatikaanta. He spoke about the Giridhari Leela, emphasising several key verses and providing insight into the parallels that could be drawn to our own lives with Guruji. He told of Krishna’s challenge to Nanda Maharaj, Nanda’s newfound resolve to worship Govardhan instead of Indra and Indra’s consequent wrath. All this led to Krishna’s act of mercy, saving everyone by lifting Govardhan hill with His little finger, thus granting shelter to all. Much like Giridhari, Guruji offers His shelter and protection to all who are willing to accept it, but we must be intelligent enough to understand that Indra’s deadly storm rages on daily in the form of the material world of Maya, waiting eagerly to catch us. Understanding this, we should never leave the shelter of the Spiritual Master, and remain ever-grateful for His continued protection.
After the class, Swami Revatikaanta addressed a group of prospective devotee initiates for almost an hour, explaining the rules and principles of a devotee in-depth. If all goes well, we will have several new initiates by the end of the pilgrimage!
After the satsang reached its end, we had a quick lunch and then we left for our afternoon program, which began with a trip to Nidhivan. Guruji joined the group towards the end of their visit, by which point many in the group had been ‘attacked’ by the colours of Holi. Guruji spent some profound moments gazing upon the mystical forest where it is said that the Raas Leela is re-enacted every evening, to this day. The trees transform into Krishna and His gopis and they dance until morning light, unperturbed by any living creature.
After Nidhivan, the group headed to the Radha Raman temple, the home of the famous deity which belonged to Gopal Bhatta Goswami. The group arrived just before opening time and quickly filled the near-empty temple to the brink with our group of 500. It was truly a sight to behold! The curtains opened shortly for a quick Darshan around 5:30 pm but then they closed once more, only to reopen at 6:30 pm. As we waited, Guruji went and met with Abhishek Goswami, one of the family descendants of Gopal Bhatta, who serves and looks after the temple of Radha Raman. They arranged for Abhishekji to visit Giridhar Dham later in the week to give a lecture on Draupadi, something we are all very much looking forward to! Meanwhile, the devotees rocked the temple with loud and vibrant kirtan. The group sang and danced for close to an hour, culminating in the arati and glorious darshan of Sri Radha Raman as the curtains opened once again.
Following our wonderful time spent at Radha Raman, the group headed back to Sri Giridhar Dham. A devotee couple from Varanasi were having an engagement party and they had arranged to begin their proceedings by performing Guru Puja directly to Guruji, something which Guruji had graciously accepted. After the puja was completed, Giridhari's abhishekam commenced. Once again, all the devotees were able to pour water and offer flowers to Giridhariji.
After prayers, Guruji decided to have dinner with the people in one of the food tents. Arrangements were made, and Guruji sat and ate, distributing lots of Maha Prasad to all present at the end of His meal! A lovely end to another wonderful day of pilgrimage in the Holy Dham.
Stay tuned for more posts as we ‘Follow the Master’ on a pilgrimage to the Divine!