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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Divali with Shree Kripaluji Maharaj October 28th 2008

Update: Click here for latest Divali news

Divali is the festival of lights. The spiritual significance of Divali is to enlighten your heart with the flame of Radha Krishn love and remove the darkness of worldliness. The word ‘Deepavali’ literally means ‘rows of candles.’ Divali is celebrated about 20 days after Dashehra which falls in October-November. This festival commemorates Lord Ram's return to Ayodhya after completing His 14-year exile. To celebrate the occasion, people light oil lamps in and around their house and light firecrackers. People paint and clean their homes, buy new clothes and distribute sweets to their relatives and friends.

In Braj leelas, Divali has a unique charm. Five thousand years ago when Radha Krishn appeared They played among Their eternal associates (the Brajwasis who had descended with Them from Divine Vrindaban) and revealed all kinds of loving leelas. Once, near the beautiful pond on Govardhan hill, called Mansi Ganga, Radha and Krishn celebrated Divali in a new and charming way. Govardhan hill was glittering, glowing and twinkling with the light of thousands of candles.

Radha Rani with all Her Sakhis and Krishn with Madhumangal and His other Gwalbal friends arrived at opposite sides of Mansi Ganga. Each of the groups lit thousands of golden candles and floated them on the waters of the pond. Then both of the groups kept moving the water with their hands very gently so that the candles floated ahead. The water of the entire Mansi Ganga was now illuminated with the glowing candles.

When both groups of candles reached the center of the pond they began to intermingle and formed one group. Gopis who were watching this festivity expressed their over-joyousness by repeatedly saying, “Glory to Radhey, glory to Krishn, and glory to (this unexampled glittering ornamentation of) Divali.” The Bliss that Radha Krishn revealed in this loving leela is beyond description. Shree Maharajji showers the same nectar of Braj ras during the Divali celebrations at Bhakti Dham in Mangarh.

Divali with Kripaluji MaharajDivali festivities at Mangarh attract devotees from all over India and the world. The Satsang Hall and ashram buildings are lavishly decorated with sparkling lights. In the early morning Shree Maharajji leads a parikrama chanting with thousands of devotees. Special pad kirtans associated with Divali festival are sung. Shree Kripaluji Maharaj Graces the audience with his Divine discourse and all the devotees receive prasad (sweets). In the evening there is a colorful fireworks display. The Grace that devotees experience at this most auspicious time is further magnified because it is also the day that we celebrate the birthday of our beloved Divine mother, Ammaji.

Kripalu Ji Maharaj Govardhan
Day after Divali, we celebrate Govardhan Pooja. Once in Braj, people were preparing many varieties of food to offer to god Indra, the king of the celestial abodes, so that he would provide plenty of rain for their crops and cattle. The little son of Nand, Krishn, told them to stop worshipping celestial god Indra and to direct their devotion to Govardhan hill which is the embodiment of God Himself. Thus, all the food that was prepared to be offered to Indra, was offered to Govardhan hill. At that moment Lord Krishn appeared on the hilltop as Govardhan God and accepted all the offerings.

Govardhan Puja is celebrated the day after Divali. Devotees celebrate this function in Mangarh every year. They create a small hill-like structure in the Sadhana Hall and cover it with tree branches and flowers. Shree Maharajji sits on the top of it and is offered varieties of food. Then all the devotees circumambulate the decorated hill while singing the glories of Govardhan and dancing joyously. Below, devotees celebrating at Govardhan with Shree Kripaluji Maharaj during his trip to JKP Barsana Dham in the USA.

Shree Kripaluji Maharaj at Barsana Dham

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