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By Mahanidhi Swami

On the day after Dipavali, Nanda Baba arranges for Jatipura brahmanas to do a pancha-amrta abhisheka of Giriraja Govardhana. Cooks prepare many kinds of sweets, rice, rotis and sabjis. Then then they arrange everything on leaf places to offer to Govardhana Hill. In one form Krishna sits next to Nanda Baba. And in another, huge form, Krishna sits atop Giriraja gobbling up all the offered foodstuffs at once with one very long arm! Observing this, small Gopala says, “Baba! Just see how Giriraja is eating everything!” Nanda and the cowherders happily gaze upon Giriraja in great amazement as Giriraja Baba concludes His bhoga and munches on some paan.

Then the Vrajavasis offer Giriraja Dharan lots of flower garlands and sandalwood paste. Local brahmanas offer Giriraja a huge ghee lamp held on a long pole. At the end, the gopas offer dandavats to Giriraja and ask Him, “O Giriraja Dharani! What is the best way to please You?”

Giriraja resoundingly replies, “I am most pleased by anyone who performs My parikrama!” So that’s exactly what Nanda Baba and all the gopas do. Leading the parikrama are the cows, then the brahmanas, the older gopas and gopis, the young gopis, Sri Krishna, His chums and lastly Nanda Maharaja and Yashoda Maiya. After Govardhana parikrama, Nanda Baba feed all the Vrajavasis brahmanas and give lavish charity of cows, gold, silver and cloth.

Nanda and his family then take prasadam and rest afterwards. The Playful Pair, Priya-Priyatama, slipped away for some confidential exchanges in a secluded Giriraja nikunja. Later, the Divine Couple return to the camp and meet again at midday at Radha Kunda for Their usual fun loving pastimes. (Gaur Govinda Gutika, adapted)

Radha-Govinda’s Giriraja Annakuta Utsava ki jai!

Giriraja Dharan ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By Mahanidhi Swami

Hurry! Only 11 days remain until Karttika Vrata begins! The Karttika Vrata, the one month long vow performed especially to please Srimati Radharani, consists of “niyama-seva” or increased sevas and offerings in sadhana bhakti performed every day at particular times. Most sincere sadhakas are trying their best every day to serve Radha Govinda Yugala, so they really can’t do much more. But Karttika is a special time with special benefits available to devotees who need a boost to surrender more, do more and serve more.

Although many devotees observe Karttika Vrata from Ashvina Purnima to Karttika Purnima), the Radha-Damodara Mandira, all the Goswami temples in Vrindavana and Radha-kunda observe the Karttika Vrata “niyamaseva” month from Ashwina Sukla Ekadashi to Karttika Utthana Ekadashi (Oct.24—Nov.22)

We are reminding all the devotees to START NOW thinking about, planning and devising a reasonable and sustainable increased sadhana program for your Karttika Vrata. Remember the 5 P’s of sadhana success:

  1. Proper
  2. Planning
  3. Prevents
  4. Poor
  5. Performance

From Sri Radha-kunda Dhama within the Madana-sukhada Kunja, we sincerely pray that Radhika-Giridhari Shyama will fully bless all my devoted friends with the requisite enthusiasm, surrender and determination to complete their Karttika niyama-sevas vows. As always, every year we remind everyone of our Karttika motto, “DO OR DIE IT IS ALL FOR RAI!!!

Srimati Radharani ki jai! Radha-Damodara ki jai!

Sri Vraja Dhama ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!