2022.06.07 (Vrindavan Today News): The Beginning of the Nectar Drenched ‘Nikunj Seva Mahotsava’ at Shri Radharaman Temple takes place today . The 33 days long seva will be dedicated to Thakur Shri Radharaman ji under the guidance of Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami ji Maharaj and Acharya Venu Gopal ji Maharaj. Shri Abhinav Goswami and Shri Suvarna Goswami ji will perform the Seva from Mangala Aarati in the early morning and Shyan Aarati in the night. The celebration is added with the delight of the 100th birth anniversary of ‘Nityalila Pravishtha’ Jagatguru Shri Purushottam Goswami ji Maharaj.
This year the ‘Nikunj Seva Mahotsava’ will be held from 7th June to 11 July 2022. Each morning during the ‘Nikunj Seva Mahotsava’, a complete reading of Shrimad Bhagvatam will be performed by 26 Sanskrit scholars. Rendition of Shri Chaitanya Bhagvatam will be performed by the Bengali Vaishnavas. In addition to this, the auspicious prayers of Gopal Sahasranam and Narayan Kavach will also be chanted by the Brahmins during the ‘seva’. Each day Shri Radharaman will give darshan from a new ‘Kunj’ to be decorated with the flowers for the pleasure of His devotees.
In 16 CE during the Bhakti movement, with the arrival of various saints from all over the country, Braj became instrumental in re-establishing the Krishna Bhava again in the then existing political and social condition. These saints wholeheartedly accepted nature’s abundance of Braj in the form of groves. They made the surrounding nature an important part of their daily rituals known as ‘seva’.
In 16 CE texts we find words like Phool Mahal, Phool Kunj, Phool Bhawan. Medieval texts like Haribhaktivilas, Kelimal, Hit Chaturasi, Sursagar, etc. talks extensively of the Phool Bangla as a form of seva. The present day tradition of Vrindavan is a continuation of the same age old ritualistic tradition. It is made and celebrated all over the Braj. Though, it has a special reverence in Vrindavan due to diversity in the tradition present here.
These Kunj will be decorated according to the different ‘rasa’ required for performing the devotional services, as suggested by Shri Rupa Goswami Pada. Dasya, Sakhya, Vatsalya, Madhurya are some of the 12 ‘rasas’ for performing the devotional service. Each ‘Jhanki’ i.e portrayal will be accompanied by the appropriate music and songs describing Radharaman’s lila at that moment.
The daily raag seva will be brought to life by different vocalists. A special ceremony called Rajopachar Seva will be offered to the Lord twice a day during Shringar Aarati and Sandhya Aarati. The devotees will hold flags and other sacred symbols during the Aaratis. Radharaman ji will wear gorgeous new outfits specially woven by the family of Mahahraj ji. New jewelries will also be offered to Him.
Different delicacies will be offered to Shri Radharaman Lal on this day. It should be noted that His Holiness Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami Maharaj is one of the seniormost Acharya of Shri Radharaman Temple and Internationally acclaimed personality. He is the Founding Trustee of ‘Vrindavan Today News’. Maharaj ji is also founder of the environmental group of ‘Friends of Vrindavan’.