Saturday, April 13th, 2019
The celebrations never cease and the opportunities to render service to the Lord are unending in Sridham Vrindavan, where, on the eve of Ram Navami, which is the auspicious day on which the deities of the Krishna Balram Temple were installed by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupad, a Shobha Yatra is conducted for the pleasure of Sri Sri Gaur Nitai, Sri Sri Krishna Balaram and Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar. Starting from the Temple, the deities are taken out on gorgeous palanquins for a tour of the temple, visiting one by one all the departments, which are carrying out varieties of services for the temple and the community to function smoothly. Along the way, they are offered innumerable varieties of palatable Bhoga offerings, arranged with great love and affection by all the devotees serving in the various departments, which is followed by Arati ceremonies performed by prominent leaders in the society. The procession is accompanied by ecstatic kirtan of the Holy names of the Lord, which is the yuga dharma for this age of Kali and the singing of which purifies both the ones who sing and all the living entities who hear it. The joyous Kirtan is accompanied by thunderous mridangas and sweet kartals, which brings great pleasure to both the Lords and their devotees. After visiting the life membership department, Naam Hatta department, Prabhupad Samadhi, Prabhupad Bakery, Welcome Centre, Bhishma Department, Guesthouse, Prabhupad house, ivtv, Govinda’s, Russian house, Accounts office, Community centre and the Kitchen, the Lords with their entourage proceed to the MVT Gardens, where the green grass carpets the floor and the surrounding trees make it appear like a groove in the forest of Golok Vrindavan, with Champas and other flowers blooming and spreading their fragrance for the pleasure of the transcendental senses of Vrajendranandan Shyamsundar and his associates. In this beautiful Garden, as the sun was setting below the western horizon, the Lords, seated on a decorated stage made for their satisfaction, are offered the Sandhya Arati, sung melodiously by an expert Kirtaniya, after being offered yet another sumptuous offering prepared by the devotees with great care and love, hoping to prepare delicious food stuffs which the Lords would relish. After giving their divine audience to the assembled devotees and having enjoyed their tour around the temple, the deities go back to the altar for the last arati of the day. This beautiful Shobha Yatra is celebrated as the Adhivas for the grand festival of Ram Navami, which follows the next day, and creates an atmosphere of great excitement and anticipation. On this auspicious day, may the Lords also enter our hearts and bestow upon us love for their lotus feet.