Celebrating Radhika’s birthday – Vrindavan

Radhika sitting on her singhasan

Radhika sitting on her singhasan

In the land of Vraja, Radhika’s birthday was celebrated joy and zeal equal to Krishna’s on Janmashtami.

The temples of Vrindavan were thronged since early in the morning by the devotees to celebrate the birth of the Queen of Vrindavan. Kirtan, bhandaras were organized in celebration of the beloved of Shyam Sundar.

The birth of Radha Rani is usually celebrated in a grand way at Varasana and Raval.  But, the joy of this festivity is not lesser in Vrindavan, either. The temples of Radha Ballabh and Tatiasthan were special attraction on this occasion in Vrindavan.

At Radha Ballabh Temple, the Radhashtami was celebrated for nine days. The Goswamis performed the ritual bath of the deity. Congratulatory devotional couplets (badhai)  were sung by the temple musicians. Various types of delicacies having Moothaa Laddus, Besan Laddus etc. were offered to the deity of Thakur Shri Radha Ballabh.

The temple arranges a lavish ‘Rajbhog’ consisting of several kinds of rice ( Sakhri), vegetable (kadhi), breads finally followed by Beedi (Betel leaves enriched with cardamom, saffron and dry fruits, traditionally offered after each and every ‘bhog’ at the temple)

The devotees

Radhashtami celebrations in full swing

As a blessing, the devotees were sprinkled with a mixture called ” Dadhi Kando” made up of curd, sandal paste, saffron and turmeric powder by the Goswamis. The fellow priests danced merrily in circles to the tune of ‘Radha Pyari Ne Janam Liyo Hai’.

In the evening, there was this holy procession of Chav till Bara Raas Mandal. Similar, celebrations were performed in other temples of Vrindavan.  Radha Raman, Radha Shyam Sundar, Radha Damodar, Banke Bihari and other Sapta Devalya Temples.

Radhashtami is also the birthday of Swami Haridas making this day more special. The temple of Banke Bihari, the Nidhivan and the Tatiasthan were decorated with flowers, flags, festoons, balloons and lights.  Panchamrita abhishek was performed at the Samadhi of Swami Haridas. Congratulatory devotional couplets (badhai) were sung by the saints of Tatiasthan and other places belonging to the Haridasis. Several cultural events were also organized at various places of Vrindavan to commemorate the birth of Swami Haridas.

 

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