On one of the days of Radhastami festivities, the residents of Varsana run throughout the village, with young boys dressed as Radha and Krishna on their shoulders. This tradition originates from the pastime at Sankari Khor, when Krishna demanded taxes from Radharani and her girlfriends, who were carrying pots of yogurt. This video is available on Glimpses of Vraja DVD http://www.vrindavanexperience.com/shop/
The festival of Radhastami, the appearance of Radharani, is being celebrated at Varsana for almost a week. Crowds of people join to circumambulate the holy place and participate in the festival. This video is available on the Glimpses of Vraja DVD: http://www.vrindavanexperience.com/shop/
Krishna-Balaram Mandir, evening kirtan by Govinda Swami on the day before the festival
Kirtan on Janmastami Eve | download
Krishna Balaram Mandir, Mangala Arati early morning on Janmastami day, by Govinda Swami
Mangala Arati | download
Roaring kirtan at Krishna Balaram Mandir on Janmastami night. Listen to the full length track below and check this short video we filmed on iPhone (sorry for the quality, but it was simply impossible to use any bigger camera in such a crowd 🙂 )
Janmastami night kirtan at Krishna Balaram temple in Vrindavan, full length soundtrack
Janmastami Night Kirtan | download
The appearance day of Srila Prabhupada, the very next day. Guru Puja performed by Govinda Swami
Guru Puja to Prabhupad | download
The offering to Srila Prabhupada by Govinda Swami
Offering to Prabhupad | download
Gurvastakam prayer sung by Govinda Swami
Gurvastakam | download
Chandan Yatra at Krishna-Balaram temple in Vrindavan. This video brings you both the festival atmosphere and the sneak view of the preparation behind the altar curtain.
Chandan Yatra at Krishna-Balaram temple in Vrindavan. Chandan Yatra is a festival which is celebrated during the hot season. Temple Deities all over the India are covered with sandalwood paste known for its cooling effect. This video brings you both the festival atmosphere and a sneak view of the preparation behind the altar curtain.
After Holi finished in Vrindavan we continued our filming and according to the schedule we went to Javat. Although it\'s over in Vrindavan, villages around Vraj keep celebrating the Holi festival for one more week. When we get there everything was covered with colores, even the dust of the narrow lanes was pinkish.
Spring time… by Aindra Prabhu’s mercy, I was in the 24-hour kirtan in Vrindavan. We had intense service everyday, which was full of nectar. Aindra Prabhu was inspiring me so much. He used to say: ‘The more you put energy in kirtan, the more you’ll get spiritual benefit!’ It was a simple sentence, but because he was saying that with such conviction and experience, it left a deep impression on me. That was the day of the boat festival. The deities were going to swim in the Yamuna.
I decided to go a little before and take bath in the Yamuna. It is well known that Keshi Ghat is a very, very auspicious place to do so. I got there, contemplating the upcoming kirtan while putting on my gamcha and offering dandavats to Yamuna Devi. Those who have been in Keshi ghat know that the river there is very deep. I went into the water, held the last step with my outstretched arm, and dived three times. When I came up the third time, I was eye to eye with the two blazing eyes of a black snake, which was poised to bite me. In a second I realized that I might never get to be part of kirtan or eat Radha Shyamasundara’s maha cheese cake again in this life time! But Krishna gave me a chance. I dived deeply, swam some distance by stream and came out, like one newly-born.
We can see the value of these opportunities to chant Hare Krishna, especially in Vraja dhama. There is the tendency to lose our Krishna consciousness, but all kinds of troubles are meant to wake us up and provoke a kind of “earthquake” in our consciousness. So it is far better to keep ourselves alert in service to the Lord’s Holy Name, dhama and His devotees, as says Bhaktivinoda Thakura:
jamuna-jivana, keli-parayana, manasa-candra-cakora nama-sudha-rasa, gao krsna-jasa rakho vacana mana mora
“Lord Krsna is the life of the River Yamuna. He is always absorbed in amorous pastimes, and He is the moon of the gopis’ minds, which are like the cakora birds that subsist only upon moonlight. O mind, obey these words of mine and sing the glories of Sri Krsna in the form of these holy names, which are full of nectarean mellows”.
Otherwise, we risk having meetings with snakes and facing other unwanted happenings.