13th issue - Nitya-seva newsletter
October, 2016 - 13th issue
This is the holy month of Kartik and festivals continue one after another here in Krishna Valley. They give the opportunity to the devotees to deepen their meditation on the sweet pastimes of the Lord and to render more service. Each year on the evening of the Saradiya Rasayatra, we remember the autumn rasa-dance when Small Radha-Syama spend the night in the temple room, to enjoy Their dancing pastimes with Their associates. On the appearance day of Radha-kunda, Radha-Syama accept the devotees’ offerings on the lotus in the middle of the kund, where They listen to the devotees bhajanas and katha glorifying Srimati Radharani’s favourite lake.
We also remember Lord Ramacandra’s pastimes too! How Raghava won over the demon Ravana: all the local devotees encouraged the Lord in this final fight, as we burnt Ravana’s whole body to ashes with all his ten heads. Not long after, on the day of Dipavali, we celebrated Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya with His consort and associates. Every year the devotees light hundreds of lamps in the temple, along Krishna Valley’s roads and in front of the houses, as Lord Ramacandra travels around New Vraja-dhama on an ox-cart, where He accepts food-offerings at devotees’ homes. It is such a privilege when the Lord personally visits the homes of His devotees to accept their service.
This year’s last big festival, the Govardhana-puja, was on the last day of October. It’s been a tradition for a while in the Hungarian yatra, that on the occasion of lifting the Govardhana Hill we offer almost two tons of sweets for the pleasure of Govardhana-lal. Devotees excitedly start the preparations two weeks before the festival, not only here in Krishna Valley, but in all the other centres too. Devotees start organising by collecting recipes and buying ingredients to prepare their offerings a few days before the festival.
Govardhana-lal is even more excited waiting in anticipation for the arrival of His devotees, and of course their offerings of love! On the day of the festival there is a different mood on the altar as well: instead of flowers, sweets are used for the decoration, and this year Srimati Radharani went to the kitchen with Her golden kitchen spoon to cook for Govardhana-lal. Along with the “huge sweet offering” we make plenty of salty preparations too for the pleasure of Giriraja, who participated in so many playful pastimes on the day of Govardhana-puja: after the abhishek He went to the Gosala where the devotees waited for Him with a swing wattled from twigs, (of course it was also decorated with so many sweets) and He sat there all the way through the worship of the cows.
We would like to thank all of you who increased your Nitya-seva payments on the day of the festival, and on this auspicious occasion another kind Vaisnava dedicated himself for donating a full amount of Nitya-seva too!
10th November, 2016. New Vraja-dhama