Cultural Programs in Krishna Balaram Mandir

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The auspicious festivals like Janmashtami, Radhashtami and other such occasions are a great opportunity for the devotees of the Lord to engage their various skills in the service of the Lord. While many of the devotees engage in cooking, bathing, decorating and other such services, a group of devotees dedicate themselves towards preparing beautiful dances and dramas depicting the enchanting pastimes and qualities of Vrajendranandan Sri Krishna and Krishnavallabha Srimati Radhika, thus giving great pleasure to the Lord and the devotees, who relish seeing these presentations to their hearts content as they invoke various transcendental mellows in the heart. In order to celebrate the festival of Janmashtami and Radhasthatmi, local performers as well as performers from outside came to the premises of Iskcon Vrindavan and offered their dances in the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar. Beautifully describing the unlimited sweetness of Rasik Shekhar Sri Krishna, one of the dancers performed the classical dance form of Bharatnatyam on the famous ashtapadi named Madhurashtakam, while other dancers performed Kathak dance on various Vraja Bhajans and yet other young girls from the congregation performed pastimes of Srimati Radhika on the occasion of Radhashtami. These sincere devotees practice and prepare for weeks so that they may be able to present a beautiful rendition of the pastimes of the Lord in front of the assembly of the Vaishnavas, who are all expert at relishing the mellows of transcendental love of Godhead. Dressed beautifully in colorful costumes and speaking sweetly, the actors and dancers give the audience a glimpse of the spiritual realm with their beautiful offering and in this way, glorify the Lord. Srila Prabhupad was always very eager to promote the performance of dramas, for the enactment of the pastimes of the Lord engages the thoughts of the Sadhakas in the remembrance of these pastimes and this process of Smaran or rememberance of the Lord and his pastimes can be greatly conducive for one’s bhakti, and therefore the devotees are always very enthusiastic to perform and watch such presentations.

 

Along with this, the 108 Kalash Abhishek which was arranged for the donors on the occasion od Janmashtami gives the donors an opportunity to acquire great spiritual merit by the performance of Abhishek to Sri Radha Shyamsundar in the holy land of Vraja. Since the privilege of performing Abhishek to the deities of the temple is available only to the Brahmana initiated devotees of the temple, the others are given an opportunity to perform Abhishek for deities of Radha Krishna in the Krishna Hall, where a beautiful arrangement is made for the participants to bathe the deities with panchamrita. Amidst melodious kirtan and in a beautifully decorated Krishna Hall, the participants ascend the stage and perform the bathing of the deities and thus being able to feel great spiritual bliss and satisfaction in their hearts.

 

All these services are meant to cultivate our affection for Sri Radha Shyamsundar, for these constitute the various limbs of Bhakti as described by the previous acharyas and can be greatly beneficial for our bhakti. We therefore pray that the Lord keep us engaged in these various services to his lotus feet, so that while utilizing all our energy in the service of the Lord, we may gain some attachment to his lotus feet.