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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Radha Madhav Dham, where the people are as diverse as the Holi colors; Let's Play (March 30th 2013, Austin, USA)

Read more at Radha Madhav Dham website

Come celebrate a traditional, braj-style Holi 2013 at Radha Madhav Dham, the US ashram of Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Maharajji

Holi 2013 at Jagadguru Kripalu Maharajaji's ashram in Austin
Radha Madhav Dham, where the people are as diverse as the Holi colors; Let's Play

A conversation about Holi conjures up many different things for different people. Like all of our great Hindu festivals, Holi has numerous aspects; social, cultural, religious and spiritual. One thing that devotees and the community in America can enjoy in common though is the traditional Braj-style Holi at Radha Madhav Dham, the US ashram of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. The thousands of people who come play Holi at this veritable Shangri-La of the Occident, and their reasons for coming, are as numerous and multifarious as the colors of Holi itself. That's what makes Holi at Radha Madhav Dham all the more unique, special and beautiful.

Holi 2013 at Jagadguru Kripalu Maharajaji's ashram in Austin
“Turn back my friend, or prepare to get colored!”

Swami Nikhilanand, sanyasi pracharak of Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharajji, our dear Swamiji, explains:

Hindu festivals are so many that they would be impossible to count, but almost all of them commemorate some leela or Divine historical event. Holi is the day that Krishna protected His devotee Prahlad from being killed in a fire. The true meaning of any Hindu holiday/festival is to remember that the aim of life is to find God. We are supposed to remember this all the time, but the various festivals help us to re-focus our energy in this direction.

The Holi plays of Radha Krishna which took place from time to time during their life, 5000 years ago, illustrate the highest realms of Transcendental bliss, the meditation of which reveals deep experiences in the heart of a Radha Krishna devotee. Having the chance to actually play Holi in such a spiritually charged atmosphere as Radha Madhav Dham, keeping the feeling that you are participating in a living Holi scene with Radha Krishna, watching Krishna leelas being enacted by the devotees, feeling the Holi colors pour down on your body, mind and soul and listening to Holi songs revealed by Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharajji from a live band are most conducive circumstances for feeling the sublime and all-enrapturing states of Radha Krishna love.

On the cultural and social level, nothing builds a lifetime bond with someone like throwing colored powered on them and having them throw colored powder on you. Nothing says "I love you!" like smearing powder in someone's face! And this is also a perfectly valid reason to participate in Holi. Building friendships, getting to know people you always wanted to but couldn't, leaving aside past prejudices and misunderstandings in the spirit of the celebration are all part and parcel of the overall Holi experience. Holi is one of those "holistic" experiences that you really have to take part in once to understand.

The most important thing about Holi 2013 is to make it your own. Make your own day which you'll always remember and think about. The Holi 2013 play this year will have many unique and enjoyable features including a live band singing Holi songs from Braj to liven up the day. Attendees will also have the chance to participate in the traditional burning of demon Holika's effigy. This act helps to remind ourselves that evil always burns in the face of good. The deeper significance of Holi & Holika are included in the “Holi  2013 talk” by Swami Nikhilanand, which will be presented in English. A delicious Dinner Prasad cooked by the Austin community will be served after the temple program ends and before the outdoor Holi play begins.

Radha Krishna Holi 2013 at Jagadguru Kripalu Maharajaji's ashram in Austin
Radha Krishna Holi Darshan at Radha Madhav Dham, the US ashram of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj

The highlight of the Holi 2013 celebration is the chance to receive the Holi darshan of Radha Krishna, who are the very life and soul of Their Dham. Meditating silently on the beautiful scene or joining the chanting is a really wonderful experience.

The preparation for Holi is extensive and you really feel it on the day. You see it in the faces of the devotees, as weeks of feelings of gulal making, days of food management and other necessary preparations required for such an event are just released on the day. Everyone lets loose and looses themselves in the magic of the day. "It's all for Radha Rani", they say.

This year is expected to be the grandest and most colorful festival ever celebrated at Radha Madhav Dham. A devotee told me that all the rooms have been booked up, weeks in advance. So all you have to do now is mark you calendars, get your old clothes out, pack your bags and head home to Radha Madhav Dham! Jai Shree Radhey!

Holi Schedule - March 30th 2013
3:00 p.m. Chant Braj-style Holi Pads and Chants revealed by Shree Kripalu Maharajji
4:00 p.m. Listen to Swami Nikhilanand Ji’s talk on Holi
5:00 p.m. Enjoy delicious Dinner Prasad
6:00 p.m. Watch Holika burn in the Holi Bonfire
6:30 p.m. Celebrate with Holi Colors to a Live Band
7:30 p.m. Join Satsang in the Temple Hall

More info: Call 512-288-7180 or visit www.RadhaMadhavDham.org

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