Radharaman ji on Sharad Purnima
posted Jul 4, 2011 11:34 PM by Isvara Academy
This year the first day of Karttika and Sharad Purnima, October 17, coincided
with a lunar eclipse. All the temples were closed from 8 AM til 6:30 PM as it
is considered that everyone and everything is contaminated from 12 hours before
the eclipse til it ends. To touch the Deities during this period would be like
evacuating and going on the altar without bathing.
I went with a small group of devotees in the late afternoon and went boating on
the Yamuna and then we sat in the soft sands on the opposite shore beside her
softly flowing current and did bhajans and Yamuna Katha til we could see the
moonrise. Still a small corner was eclipsed and in the evening twilight we
bathed in the Yamuna’s sacred waters up to the end of the eclipse. Then again
we went boating again with the Sharad Purnima reflected on the waters. Because
now it is the end of rainy season, Yamuna is quite full and there is a nice
current that makes the surface uneven. So the moonlight reflection was wide and
some places narrow, sparkling like diamonds on the cool, black waters of
Then we landed at Keshi Ghat underneath the beautiful collonaded palace of the
Maharaj of Jaipur that was glowing in the moonlight where the devotees first
stayed in Vrindavan. From there we made out way to the mediaval temple of Sri
Radharamanji for His Sharad Purnima darshan. As they only started puja at 6:30
we had to quite a while for darshan as you can see from one yawning young girl
in the picture. We realized that it was not easy to get darshan of the Lord! We
did soft kirtan from 7 PM until about 9:15.
But it was worth the wait! Tonight Radharamanji was wearing a special solid
gold mukut inlaid with jewels and a very special shape. I have enclosed a few
views of this magnificent darshan. Without a telephoto lens, you won’t be able
to see that just about the middle of the crown there is a circle of rubies
around a small sapphire. Near His hair and on a small mukut off at an angle on
the right side of his head (left in the pictures) there are rows of pearls.
As I explained before all the Deities dress in white on this night so that as
Radharani slips thru the forest to meet Shyamsundar, she will blend in with the
sparkling moonlight and not be detected. So you can see all the decorations are
white. Sri Radharamanji is also accompanied with the Asta Sakhis.
On the Sharad Purnima night, it is an ancient custom the everyone in India
cooks sweetrice and offers it on the roof of the house or temple for Radha and
Krishna and the gopis to taste in Their Rasa Dance. The nectar from the
moonlight enters the sweetrice prasadam all night long making it even sweeter.
In Krishna Balaram Mandir, I collected donation from several devotees and we
were able to make sweetrice from 150 liters of milk and offer it in the
moonllight. There was saffron, cashews, raisins, puffed lotus seeds, cardamon,
and some little seeds we have here in India called ciranji that always appears
floating on top in first class kheer. Everyone went to bed with the happy
thought that there was plenty of kheer for Krishna and the gopis tonight.
In the morning after Mangal Artika thousands of devotees who have come for
Kartika tasted that wonderful kheer prasadam mixed with amrita from the
moonlight. Everyone was astonished at the wonderful taste and came back again
and again was there was plenty to go around.
In service of Sri Sri Krishna Balaram,
Deena Bandhu dasa